The Journal of Australian Ceramics Vol 49 No 1 April 2010

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Clean Efficient

Electric & Gas Kilns

and Furnaces

+ Environmentally friendly.

+ Low density hot face

insulating brick (Fibre Free).

+ Economical to operate.

+ Made in Australia

exported worldwide.

+ One of Australia's most

experienced kiln and furnace


+ Australia's largest range -

40 standard sizes -

custom sizes on request.

+ Over 40 years experience -

established 1963.

+ Over 20,000 kUns and


Grant Ayre: For a non-potter or

ceramicist, I have had quite an association

with The Australian Ceramics Association.

I have managed the development of

australianceramics.com since 2000, starting

the position whilst Sue Buckle was editor. I

now maintain a select group of clients with

my company Antfarm Design while working

by day for VHA Australia (Vodafone and


Carol Fraczek: I started with Pottery

in Australia ten years ago in 2000. Three

editors later and I'm still here. Was it

something I said) ... Hope to be chatting

with you for the next ten years! Thanks for

making my job so enjoyable.

Cheers, Carol Fraczek, your user friendly

advertising guru!

E: carol.fraczek@aapt.net.au

Ashley Fiona: Our subscriptions and

administrations manager. She is currently

completing her Honours Degree in Ceramics

at the College of Fine Arts. Ashley exhibits

w ith Brenda May Gallery, Breathing Colours

Gallery and Gallery Aloft. She has recently

completed a short residency at SODA studios

with Fleur Schell in Fremantle WA. She loves

nothing more than meddling in all things



Astrid Wehling: A Graphic Designer with

25 years experience in Visual Communication,

Astrid runs a studio in Sydney, working

with national and international clients from

various industries. Designing The Journal

of Australian Ceramics was one of her first

projects after she moved from Germany to

Australia in 2000: "I still find working on the

magazine absolutely inspiring."

E: design@astridwehling,com.au



Now + Then

The 3rd ICMEA Conference, 2010

The 3rd International Ceramic Magazine Editors

Association (lCMEA) Conference, 2010 is being

held in Fuping/Jingdezhen, China from 8- 15

November 2010. The theme is Interpretation of


Call for Speakers and Emerging Artist

Competition 2010: Deadline, 31 July 2010

Call for Emerging Ceramic Artist Competition:

Deadline, 30 June 2010

Awards: The FuLe Prize will be given to 10

emerging artists for a free one-month residency

program in Fuping Pottery Art Village during

2011-2012. In addition, three cash prizes will be

given to the top three of the ten emerging artists:

Gold Prize, US$2000; Silver Prize, US$1500;

Bronze Prize, US$l 000.

Lots of info is available on

http://sites .google.comlsitelicmea20 1 Olicmea-

2010-1 or contact Dr I Chi Hsu via email


The Need to Test

C1ayworks would like to stress the

importance of potters testing each new

batch of raw materials before using them in

production. Extremely significant changes,

which may impact on your glazes and

colours, are taking place in the supply of a

number of important raw materials.

Unimin has been the major supplier of soda

and potash feldspar in Australia. Clayworks

understands that changes in Unimin's milling

operation have resulted in the source of its

potash feldspar changing. We also believe that

there will be changes in soda feldspar, but are

unsure when they will occur.

Ferro has advised that it will soon cease

production of frits in Australia and will replace

them with imported products. Some frits may

no longer be available while others coming from

different factories may have slightly different

properties. The timing of these changes is still


Clayworks strongly advises anyone using these

products to thoroughly test each new batch

of materials to ensure that the consequences

of any change in raw materials is understood.

If you require information on the chemical

composition of any of the replacement materials,

please contact us and we will supply whatever

information we have available.

Max Campbell

Clayworks Potters Supply Pty Ltd


Vale Trudie Alfred

Potter and teacher

Died 2 January. 20 10, in Sydney

Vale Alex Leckie

Potter, lecturer and sculptor

Died 7 February, 2010, in Paisley, aged 77

Bob Connery: Geoff Crispin: Arthur Rosser and Rowley

Some Notes on Reduced Symbiotic Relationships Drysdale discuss tropical

Lustre (longer version)

Within a Never Ending Journey anagama kilns


Australian Ceramics Directory

B I f! I ~ I Q I ~ I E I § I .t!. l l l l l !S. I !: 1M I Ji Q I I: I Q. I R I I I I 1\1 1 '{ W I 'f, I Y.. I 0-9

Australian Ceramics Directory

Add Entry

Ursula Burgoyne

M arritkville NSW 2204

T: 02 9559 5127

E: ursula.burgoyne@bigpond.com

I make mostly wood-fired, salt-glazed tableware. This is a genre in which every

aspect of each form committed to the firing demands attention - its visual,

physical and tactile appeal as well as its possibilities for use. The inside and

underneath suriace of each piece is as important as the outside. The work is primarily wheel-thrown, but

hand-building and extrusions contribute to the making of many pieces. I am currently exploring ways of

harmoniSing simple slip decoration with the effects of wood and salt.

Eucalypt Homewares

Artist: Melanie Sharpham

Kensington WA 6151

T: 0439 944 453

E: msharpha@bigpond.net.au


Melanie Sharpham from Eucalypt Homewares is a Perth-based ceramic designer/

maker. She works in coloured porcelain and is inspired by the flowering eucalypt

trees native to Western Australia.

You can also visit Melanie's blog: www.eucalypthomewares.blogspot.com

Keiko Matsui

Bondi Junction NSW 2022

E: keiko.matsui@hotmait.com

T: 0425 725 978

My Japanese heritage with its history of and respect for ceramics, and

the experience of living in Australia, an innovative new culture, have both

influenced my work. Using Australian porcelain, I focus on making forms that

act as a canvas for my drawings which I have been practising since I was small.

While porcelain is difficult to work with, its whiteness, translucency, density and surface qualities more

than compensate for any problems. It is through clay that I express my emotions and travel the inner

me. The journey to refinement of suriace, texture and colour is similar to the path of self-discovery.

Lone White

Cairns OLD 4870

T: 07 4053 7508

E: lone@tpg.com.au


I became Involved w ith pottery when I arrived In Cairns about 35 years ago. I love

working in the ceramic medium; it has unlimited possibilities. Living near the reef

and the rainforest in far North OLD has inspired my appreciation of the beauty and

mystery of this natural environment. I have developed an experimental chrome green

glaze applied in various ways to ceramic pieces related to the tropical rainforest floor, e.g. fungal forms,

seed buds etc. Sea urchms have been my latest inspiration.

http://australianceramics . com/homeli ndex. ph pI Aust -Ceramics-Directory I



.. ~ . . . .


Left: Charles (Chas) Bennett (seated), William Charles Bennett (left) and

William Reginald Bennett (right), circa 1912

Above: Bennetts Pottery buildings, circa 1900

Photos: courtesy Mortlock library, South Australia

Bennetts Magill Pottery Pty Ltd

- a living history

Damon Moon writes about one of the last remaining traditional Australian potteries

Currently in its fifth generation of family ownership, Bennetts Magill Pottery in Adelaide provides one

of the last remaining glimpses into the small- to medium-size manufactory that was the mainstay of

Australian ceramics throughout the nineteenth and into the first part of the twentieth century.

The founder, Charles (Chas) Bennett, was born in Somersetshire in England in 1842. In 1849 he

travelled with his family to the newly established colony of South Australia, settling in Magill, then a

semi-rural area a few miles east of the centre of Adelaide. Good supplies of clay, as well as abundant

fuel in the shape of the string-bark forests cladding the adjacent hills, ensured the area quickly became

home to a number of potteries, established to fulfil the needs of a rapidly growing population.

The young Charles Bennett gained an apprenticeship at just such a pottery, run by a Cornish

immigrant, third-generation potter named John Henry Trewenack. From the age of twelve, Bennett

worked at Trewenack's, first as an apprentice then as a full employee, where he spent many years

learning about all aspects of the craft. In 1883, Charles Bennett, together with his son, William Charles

Ben nett, worked for a time at the nearby Piercy brothers pottery and it was there that the young

William Bennett met his future wife, Abigail Piercy, forming a union that perhaps ensured the future

importance of ceramics to the Bennett's clan . Clay, it seems, was in their blood.

Following the death of William Piercy in 1885, the business went into decline, prompting the

Bennetts to finally establish their own pottery on land the family owned at Magill. The pottery started

trading at a date towards the end of the 18805 (the actual date is given variously between 1887 and

1890). Initially consisting of a shed, a horse-drawn pugmill and a small wood-fired kiln, the Magill

Pottery Works, as it was called then, was gradually expanded to include a bottle-kiln, larger workshops

and some mechanisation in the shape of steam or oil driven engines, thus relieving the horse of its


Perspe ctive

! .. , .. -

- =-- -



1 Bennetts Pots centenary catalogue, 1987

photo: courtesy Bennetts Pottery

2 Bennetts catalogue. circa 1935, Mortlock Library

3 Bennetts one and a half gallon pickle jar,

circa 19905. Jars like this have been in constant

production for over one hundred years.

photo: Damon Moon

more burdensome duties, Further equipment was added with the purchase of new throwing wheels

manufactured by the English company of William Boulton Ltd, by which stage the pottery, now called

C. Bennett and Sons, was producing a vast range of the kind of useful, no-nonsense pottery needed by

homes, farms and industry - bread crocks and mixing bowls, preserving jars, acid, wine and spirit jars,

butter coolers, poultry waterers, and garden and chimney pots,

During the 1920s and 1930s, the pottery, now under the management of William Bennett, continued

to increase the range of goods on offer. In addition to an assortment of terracotta pots there were

several types of glazed domestic wares, although, in keeping with the mainstream of Australian ceramic

practice, no fine dinnervvare was produced, this market being met by imported English ceramics. Further

to this, a range of highly successful 'art pottery' was produced, with vases and other decorative items

being glazed in a variety of mottled and streaked lead-based colours, often referred to as Majolica or

agate wares.

There were, however, setbacks. On the morning of 27 November 1940, a fire razed the building to

the ground, leaving a total damage bill of around ten thousand pounds. The pottery was rebuilt, but by

the time an official of the Department of Mines visited the factory in 1946, the pottery had returned to

its core production, where:

Bennett's products are largely confined to a stoneware and coarse domestic ware. Acid jars are

thrown on the wheel .. . Bristol ware is .. . [made! . . from Tea Tree Gully clay with some Woocalla ball

clay added to extend the vitrification range l

By 1950 the pottery was being run on a day to day basis by the third-generation William Reginald

Bennett. The kilns were now fuelled by oil, which, unfortunately, did not prevent a second massive




Left: Wmdows at Bennetts; right: Bennetts garden pots; photos: Damon Moon

fire from destroying the pottery in 1956. Reginald Bennett seriously considered whether to rebuild the

pottery, but since his own son, Robert William Bennett, was now working at the pottery, it was decided

that the business would continue.

In 1964, Robert assumed control, in a marketplace where conditions were changing rapidly. Although

the majority of garden wares used in Australia were still produced locally, the lifting of post-war

restrictions had allowed an ever greater amount of imported ceramics to enter the market, a move

which led to the demise of many of the small manufactories which had sprung up in the immediate

post-war years. Bennett's responded to this decline by diversifying their manufacturing base, for a time

even supplying bricks to a booming building industry, but also, conversely, by sticking to their guns and

continuing to make a range of utilitarian pots almost identical to those they made in the late nineteenth

century. A growth of interest in the crafts throughout the 1970s saw these traditional pots come

back into fashion, while the proliferation of ceramics courses and increasing numbers of practitioners

provided a ready market for Bennett's clay. With the closure of Koster's Pottery in 1977, Bennett's was

left as the sole South Australian pottery operating along more or less traditional lines.

In the mid- 1970s, Robert's son, John William Bennett, became the fifth generation to work at the

pottery, and he now runs the business in a family lineage that spans three centuries. The last twenty or

so years have seen added pressure on the business from imported garden wares, but Bennetts endures,

providing a fascinating link to the vernacular ceramic traditions of the past.

Damon Moon, Willunga 2010



1 & 2 John Bennett throwIng a

garden pol

3 Bennetts clay preparatIon

photos: Damon Moon

4 Robert Wilham (Bob) Bennett,

cIrca 1987

Photo: courtesy Bennetts Pottery

Further information about the history of Bennetts Pottery and other historic South Australian

potteries can be gained from Noris Ioannou's Ceramics in South Australia, 1836-1986: from

Folk to Studio Pottery, Wakefield Press 1986 and from Geoff Ford's 19th century South

Australian pottery: guide for historians and collectors, published in a limited edition in 1985

by Salt Glaze Press.

1 Gaskin, A.J., "Preliminary Investigations on clays from South Australia"

Department of Mines Report Book No. 22, 1946


Guest Edi tor Rowley Drysdale


A rock and roll concert and a wood-firing edition in an industry journal would appear to have little

in common, but I see more than a few places where the dots connect. One pertinent nexus is the role

of the editor (or sub-editor) in the journal and the sound engineer mixing a concert. They have similar,

mainly technical, briefs: to provide the best blend for an aud ience in which they too are located. If a

good and strong voice is getting drowned out by a kick drum the engineer adjusts a level, if the crucial

point of an argument can be accurately summarised in a heading or an intro the editor writes it.

One thing that struck me about this issue was just how strong the voices are in wood-firing Australia.

I have long argued that this industry is blessed w ith great narrative and strong character. Good story

telling more often than not comes with experience, and so it was important to have people such as

Owen Rye, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and Janet Mansfield contribute.

In fact a mass of material was contributed, all stories were edited, headings and intros written, and all

were considered. As usual not all could be printed here. What wood-firers think and feel about their art

form was the central theme of this edition. I can honestly report they think and feel plenty. Less room

was provided for technical treatments.

It really doesn't make much sense, or a lot of cents, taking on ed itorial jobs like this. People who do

it regularly deserve medals. However li ke all rich experiences it can make for a good story, and could be

entitled The Real Story Behind Issue 49 ... I'm working on it.

I would espeCially like to thank Vicki Grima for her patient mentorship. Enjoy your reading .

Rowley Drysdale

February 2010


Focus: Wood -Firing


Owen Rye considers the role of the cha insaw in wood-firing

The 1960s of popular culture happened in Australia in the 1970s. It was the time of Whitlam and the

freedom to try anything with anyone; the time of the hashish trail through Afghanistan, vacant-eyed

faces with distant stares sitting on every veranda between here and England; the time of the Australian

hippie, living independent of the regular economy, growing their own, the potters among them firing

with wood because it cost labour instead of money; the Middle East wars of 1973 that almost meant

the end of Israel but for a bad mistake by Egyptian generals made the then common potters fuel, oil,


much more expensive. Wood looked like a good alternative. In 'hippie central' on the NSW north coast,

Tony Nankervis and Kerry Selwood, and Dennis and Malina Monks made wood-fired salt glaze.

Leach's A Potter's Book, which was really about the 1930s, was passing into history. Abstract

Expressionism had evolved in the dull grey 1950s and was commonly exhibited in painting galleries in

Sydney when I was a student in the 1960s. The National Gallery bought Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles

in 1973 amid great controversy. I was not the only one to read books on Japanese ceramics - Hugo

Munsterberg's Ceramic Art of Japan from 1964, Herbert Sanders World of Japanese Ceramics from

1967 and, best of all, Daniel Rhodes Tamba Pottery of 1970. Here was how to do ceramics that spoke

about abstract expressionism, that united, in the words of that old cliche, East and West. Here was

revelation, an almost divine insight. As they say now, "Way to go" . Louise Cort's Shigaraki book of

1979 was the final clincher.

Not to say firing with wood was new to Australia. Colonial potters and many brickworks started it.

Harold Hughan had a woodfired kiln. Ivan McMeekin was mainly responsible for the development of

the Bourry kiln. But the Korean-derived Japanese anagama and noborigama were being studied by

westerners. Peter Rushforth was an early visitor to Japan, Milton Moon came back and built Australia's

first anagama, Col Levy visited Bizen before he began firing a kiln here based on that experience. From

the US Jeff Shapiro, Randy Johnston, John Neely and others studied in depth in Japan.

So we can safely say the contemporary Australian wood-fire movement in which the originally

Korean-style kilns are so prominent, began its course mainly, if not entirely, in the 1970s. We can see

economic and cross-cultural drivers for its beginnings.

I would like now to consider a technical imperative without which the wood-fire movement might


Focus : Wood -Fi rin g

Owen Rye

never have developed: The pragmatic reason for the growth of wood-firing is the chainsaw.

To see why, let's do a once-upon-a-time back to the 1950s. In the small town of Berridale, NSW,

where I grew up, the Oddfellows Hall was the centre of secu lar social life. There were no movies then.

We went to the pictures and saw classics like Swamp Thing and Creature from the Black Lagoon,

and watched Audie Murphy, the Bruce Willis of the '50s, win World War II single-handedly. And at the

local concerts and dances, Pinky Harris and Sid White sang Hank W illiams, playing their guitars in the

plinka-plinka plunka-plunka style of country music of the day. On Sundays the good folk of the district

went to church.

The rest of the world seemed far away - and was; the Snowy Mountains area was very isolated. The

dirt roads were too slippery and boggy to go anywhere much when the snow got too deep, or even

in heavy rain . There was no general electricity supply. We had a kerosene fridge, lamps for light and

wood for heating, a wood stove for cooking, a wood chip heater for hot water for a bath and an open

fireplace with wood for warmth. As a kid coming in from the cold of winter, I associated the feeling that

all was well with the world with a wood fire, a powerful personal reason for taking to wood-firing later.

I started learning about firewood and how to make it burn at an early age, by having the job of

putting wood on the fire to keep it going. Later, as a 12-year-old, maybe younger, I learned about

firewood by helping my father get it. We would go out in the bush to find fallen logs. Chopping

down trees with an axe was too slow and was a quick way to kill yourself unless you were an expert.

Somehow we got the heavy logs loaded onto a borrowed truck and at home dumped them in a large

pile. It was heavy work but, in some ways, almost relaxing, as a day in the bush often is. The next part.

and th is is the point of this story, was not.


Focus: Wood-Firing

Cutting the wood to length to fit the stove

or fireplace came next. This involved the typical

bush approach - use whatever was available to

get the job done. Like the ways of closing a bush

gate, no two set-ups would ever be exactly the

same. Ours used the chassis and engine off an

old Hudson straight-eight car bolted down to

heavy wooden posts, to drive a big circular saw

in a wood-framed saw bench sitting about four

metres away. The bench had a sliding top so the

wood could be pushed past the saw to cut it

to length. A pulley on the bench, connected to

the saw, was driven by a five-inch wide belt of

rubberised canvas. At the other end, the belt ran

around the jacked-up back wheel of the Hudson.

The middle of the belt had a twist so it spun the

saw blade in the right way. The car engine was

started with a crank handle that would kick back

and break your arm if you were tentative. To

get it all going in second gear, you stood on the

chassis rails on one foot, the other on the clutch,

and tried ha rd not to fall onto the tail shaft

when it started revolving. You didn't need to be a graduate of a nationally recognised university to work

out what would happen if your foot slipped. The belt flogged and flapped around as it spun at a furious

speed, sometimes breaking and flying off in any unpredictable direction. There was no really safe place

to stand, and being able to jump to one side very rapidly was a useful survival skill. As the engine roared

and the belt spun, clouds of steam poured from the 44 gallon drum connected to cooling hoses on the

engine and we had to stop it all occaSionally when the water boiled too much.

On the saw bench, an oval-shaped cast iron plate said it was made by Jas Smith of Ballarat. They still

make saw benches but with a vastly safer set-up than the one we used; which, I can say with heavy

irony, was constructed well before the term OH&S was invented. It had a circular saw blade bigger

round than the length of a big man's arm. The saw spun half exposed above the sliding wooden bench

top, its teeth hissing like some insane malevolent creature plotting to bite you in half. Two people were

needed to place the big logs of wood on the bench and then it was pushed along so the wood moved

through the saw. The sawn piece fell off to one side and the log was slid along so the next piece could

be cut off. My job was to help bring the heavy logs and place them on the bench, avoiding the spinning

drive pulley with the belt whizzing around it, and the saw, as I slid them across - meanwhile constantly

kicking away small pieces of fallen wood to avoid stumbling. My father worked the bench, pushing the

logs through the whirling blade and then helping to move the log Into position for the next cut. That

was woodcutting. Everything about the whole show had to be done like you meant it; there was no

room for caution. Doing all that and being alive aftervvards gave me much confidence about the later,

almost kindergarten job, of using a chainsaw.

Which brings me to my point. I believe one of the main factors in wood-firing starting up in Western

countries around the world, where labour is not cheap, was the general introduction of the chainsaw.

This affordable tool could be taken out in the bush by one person who could cut logs to a length where

they could be loaded onto a trailer or ute by that same one person and, if a bit of commonsense was

used, the whole operation would be safe enough. When the logs got to the kiln they could be split with

an axe by that same one person, again a safe job. Hard work, but wood-firing always has involved hard

labour, and always will.


The modern approach to getting the wood that I now use is pretty much standard worldwide. Offcuts

from sawmills, basically the unusable sides cut from the logs, are delivered in bundles strapped together

with hoop iron. To cut these to length with a chainsaw, some simply cut through the bundle, but as

I need two different lengths of wood (one of finer longer pieces for side-stoking, the other thicker

shorter pieces for the front of my anagama), I sort the pieces and stack them in a frame so I can use the

chainsaw to cut them to length. All being well, this eliminates the need for any wood splitting down

to the right diameter because the sawmill waste is usually thin enough. If not, I can hire a log splitter

for the few days it is needed, at little cost. The total cost of wood for me for a 4-5 day anagama firing,

including truck hire, is about $200. I like the fact that my wood comes in a Mack truck, normally a

gravel truck, owned by David O'Brien. Not many people in the arts have their materials delivered in a

Mack. David has a gravel quarry where I can get other materials such as clay and the gravel I use in my

wad mix.

In add ition to the sawmill wood, I use some from fallen trees or branches on my place, cut to length

with a cha insaw and then split with an axe. As someone said once, cut down and then cut up. With the

welcome help of my adult sons, we can get a truckload of wood ready for the kiln In a long day or, at

worst, a weekend.

If we had to use the methods of the 19505 to get our wood ready, even if we modernised by using

machinery everywhere instead of labour and used a saw bench driven by a tractor, I would be firing with

biodiesel - to who knows what aesthetic.



Focus: Wood-Firing

Opposite: Blue Bottle, 2008, wood-tired stoneware

h.12cm, wI Scm, d.7cm; photo: Greg Piper

A Little Learning is a

Dangerous Thing

Barbara Campbell-Allen discusses mentors and peers in the context of her practice

The wood-firing community has an evolving body of knowledge encompassing the explicit practical

issues of kiln design, clays, glazes, wood choice, kiln packing and firing cycles, and the implicit cultures

of learning, unspoken practices and processes of individual practitioners. Access to this knowledge is

gained through relationships with other members of the community and depends on their willingness

to share information. The wood-firing community is unusual in that unlike the craft guilds of old, it does

not hold secret knowledge in the hands of a few elite practitioners but encourages a free dissemination

of knowledge.

The Teachers

My teachers are an impressive list: Col Levy, Bill Samuels and Owen Rye, with their input spanning

twenty-five years. Unlike the traditional linear, post-college route of apprenticeship or firing with others

before building a kiln, my journey post college was shaped by the experience of building a kiln then

learning from mistakes and successes firsthand. My experience is an amalgam of being taught by several

of Australia's best wood-firers and collaborative learning experiences with peers.

In the mid-1970s my first formal ceramic instruction was an evening glaze course with Col Levy. I

was pregnant at the time but didn't miss a class. He demonstrated a synthesis of form and surface that

incorporated an incredible depth of understanding of the materials. Levy had an infectious excitement

about the aesthetic potential of glaze experimentation - the drama and subtleties of surface and a

fascination with the chemistry itself. This ability to communicate one's own excitement is a key to

excellent teaching.

In the early 1980s I attended East Sydney Technical College (ESTC) where Bill Samuels was teaching.

I was strongly attracted to the wood-fired shinos of both Levy and Samuels and considered both men

to be masters of the medium. I was therefore surprised when Samuels advised against specialising in

wood-firing whilst at college and recommended experimenting with gas firing, using charcoal in saggars

for specific glaze effects. Samuels was always available for consultation and when I came to build my

anagama eight years later, he talked me through the design issues.

Samuel's priority was designing the kiln for a particular aesthetic - the need for exposure or protection

of work and the atmosphere required. He knew where pockets of oxidation occurred in his kilns, so he

built his kilns to eliminate these areas. He knew what type of flame he wanted to surround his shino

vessels, so he made a tapered flue and placed the damper on top of the chimney. For Samuels, kiln and

firing knowledge enabled a distinct product, but what it embodied was the important factor Learning

from Samuels was more by a process of osmosis than direct instruction. As a student I was motivated by

a desire to find out how he made such extraordinarily beautiful work, but it took some determination

to extract the information and much was gained by observation. As a teaching technique it certainly

ensured that students were not spoon-fed!


Focus: Wood-Firing

Kwirak Choung and Barbara Campbell·Allen designing their kil n, 2006

By 1988 I had built my first anagama and managed to fire it several times in between making

production ware and part-time teaching. I realised I needed more input to explore wood-firing rigorously

so I undertook a research Masters in Visual Arts at Monash (Gippsland) as distance education under

Owen Rye . Rye's approach to supervision was, quite properly, to ask questions, but he was also willing

to provide gUidance. From him I learned to view the anagama as a big machine with various zones

that required appropriate pots constructed with receptive clays. I was encouraged to experiment

judiciously by placing work in areas that may result in destruction, or new possibilities. Once when I was

complaining about the height of my firebox and thinking of raising the floor with bricks, he suggested

putting pots there instead. I learned to use th is zone of the kiln, playing with ember and air to give

luscious results. Rye emphasised the need to understand the nexus between process and product,

especially in relationship to long wood-firing. He emphasised that pieces need to be made with an

understanding of the effect of process and its contribution to the finished work. Rye was not interested

in creating clones; he wanted students to discover individual aesthetic possibil ities, procedures and


Collaborative learning and the role of peers

During formal study, various shared firing experiences with peers took place which helped me

understand the dynamics of group firing, but the post-college firing with peers has proven to be a rich

source of knowledge development. Whilst peers can question decisions and provide valuable critique,

taking responsibility for a firing provides an immediate escalation of one's knowledge - the results are

totally dependent on one's own decisions.

I am indebted to a fellow EST( student, Susan Brophy, for her input. Susan had been apprenticed


Focus : Wood-Firing

Barbara on the arch

in Japan for a year and was teaching at Albury TAFE. She introduced me to an approach to long woodfiring

she had learnt in Japan using techniques that encouraged a layering of ash surfaces. Over the

years my firing team has been a rich source of ideas and opportunity for discussion. Judy Boydell, Cath

O'Gorman and Jann Kesby have spent many hours pondering many issues whilst firing my kilns.

Recognising what you are missing in knowledge is driven home by failures. In the early nineties

when I started to experiment with Gulgong clays, I had a kiln load of ware with shino-type glaze that I

unpacked with glee! Short-lived success for as I examined individual pieces the beautiful glaze shelled

off! This happened at the time of the Lismore Wood-fire Conference where Owen Rye was promoting

postgraduate study. I applied immediately.

More recently, the input of my current firing partner, Kwirak Choung, also a Monash graduate, has

questioned my forward thinking in regard to an aging kiln. J found the idea of building a new kiln

daunting, but in partnership it has been a rewarding experience. Whilst I take final responsibility for firing

decisions, we discuss the shape and specific aim of the firing beforehand. We are currently exploring

ways of managing the large firebox and ember during long firings. Having someone to discuss all aspects

of the firing with and being able to confidently share the long firing knowing that good decisions will be

made, is a great plus. Peers can ask the questions that one tries to avoid; they can challenge decisions,

aesthetics and work practices.

Teacher and mentor

As a teacher with over fifty students, I aim to enable them to attain technical skills, but most

importantly, to 'find their own voice'. My students have access to a wide variety of firing processes

- gas, electric, pit-firing, raku, black and, more recently, long wood-firing. Seeing them work as a team


Construct " stoneware paperclay, wood-fired, h.22crn, w.57cm, d.33cm; photo: Greg Piper

w ith fellow students, enabling them to 'see' their own work critically and interact positively together

creates an atmosphere for more learning. My student body represents a microcosm of the larger ceramic

community : they are learning a language, finding their own vocabulary and contributing to the general

body of knowledge.

I have acquired my wood-fire knowledge from several excellent books, many articles and at specialist

conferences. However, there is a body of knowledge that cannot be described, as it needs to be

demonstrated or experienced. This is the knowledge that is learnt in the relationships between students

and teachers and in the shared experience of professional peers.

Barbara Campbell-Allen

E: camal@bigpond.net.au


Focus : Wood- Fi ring

Wood-firing in a Carbon

Constrained Age

Ian Jones discusses possibly the most important issue facing Au stralian wood-firers

One of the consequences of firing a large wood-kiln at a time of increasing environmental awareness

is that I am often questioned about the environmental impact of my art. Twenty years ago at the

conference Woodfire '89, held at Janet Mansfield's property outside Gulgong, several of the papers,

including my contribution 'Wood-firing: The Most Ecologically Sound Fuel?', Steve Harrison's paper

'The Ecolog ical Consequences of Using Australian Native Hardwoods as a Fuel for the Artist Potter',

and Arthur Rosser's paper 'Growing Trees for Wood-firing ', directly addressed issues relating to the

environmental impact of wood-firing. Wood-firers have had an ongoing interest in these issues and

recently Ray Cavill's MA dissertation examined the control of smoke emissions from anagama firings.

Twenty years after Woodfire '89, at a time when awareness of the process of climate change has greatly

increased, it seems appropriate that I should revisit the topic for th is issue.

First, let's look at what actually happens when we burn wood. The major component of wood is

cellulose, produced by the tree from glucose. The formula for cellu lose is C6H 1 005, and, in combustion,

it is the energy released by the combination of the carbon and hydrogen w ith extra oxygen that

generates heat. By weight, cellulose is 44.5% carbon, 6.2% hydrogen and 49.3% oxygen, and by

weight actual (dry) wood can be thought of as being 50% carbon, a little over 6% hydrogen and a little

over 40% oxygen. The by-products of the combustion of cellulose are carbon dioxide and water vapour.

The part of this combustion with environmental consequences is the combustion of the carbon, and that

reaction by weight is 1 kg carbon + 2.66 kg oxygen = 3.66 kg carbon dioxide.

Therefore, regardless of the source of the carbon, each kilogram of carbon burned will produce 3.66

kilograms of carbon dioxide. However, more heat in relation to the amount of carbon dioxide is released

using fuels such as LPG or natural gas because they contain a greater percentage of hydrogen.

We said earlier that wood can be considered to be 50% carbon, so each kilogram of wood burned

produces 3.66 x50% = 1.83 kilograms C02; however, this will vary depending on the moisture content

of the wood. Ray Cavill quotes a range of between 1.5 and 1.8 kilograms C02 per kilogram of wood. 1

The great issue for our age is going to be the constraint on the release of carbon and other

greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. This IS not just an economic argument, it is fundamentally a

moral issue, for if we get it wrong the consequences for my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter and her

future children, and for all the generations to come, are unimaginable.

Two or three times each year Moraig and I fire a nine-metre long anagama kiln . Each firing burns

approximately ten tonnes of pine, so we are producing approximately 18 tonnes of C02 per firing, or

up to 54 tonnes per year from three firings. Additionally, we use wood to heat our house and studio,

burning another five tonnes of hardwood, perhaps giving a total of 63 tonnes of C02 from burning


In 1989 when I presented the paper at Gulgong, environmental concerns about logging and loss

of habitat were perhaps greater than concerns about the issue of global warming, although the three

environmental papers presented raised C02 emissions as an issue. I would be lying if I sa id that my

original research into the environmental impact of wood-firing was not done to help me justify my


Focus: Wood -Firing

practice as a wood-firer or to help me answer those awkward questions that popped up at parties_ But

what I found was a concern about carbon em issions which did not just focus on the use of wood and

which overshadowed my concerns about forestry practices - how can I justify the release of over 60

tonnes of C02 each year from my kiln firings?

Essentially, although the source of carbon doesn't matter in relation to the amount of carbon dioxide

released, the source of the carbon is significant in regard to the impact on global warming. Over the

last two hundred years, the release of carbon that was removed from the atmospheric carbon cycle

and stored as coal and oil over millions of years has steadily increased the carbon dioxide levels in the

atmosphere. This has some beneficial effects, such as improving plant growth, but its major negative

impact is that, to date, it is has raised the average temperature of the atmosphere by 0.6°C, and is

heading inevitably towards a rise of two or three degrees. After the Copenhagen conference, we all

know that the reality of doing anything significant about it at a national and international scale is

politically difficult. In order to restrict temperature rise to the target of 2°C, each of the nine billion

people who will live on Earth by the year 2050 will have to restrict their release of carbon dioxide from

fossil fuels to two tonnes per person. In his writings Steve Harrison has covered many of the things that

he does, and that all of us should be doing, to lessen our 'carbon footprint'.2

We can do things as individuals, and I contend that wood-firing is one of the choices, considering

wood is one of a few genuinely renewable fuels. To quote from my 1989 paper:

" Compared to wood (and methane produced from a methane digester) al/ other fuels for

kilns release carbon which has been removed from the atmospheriC carbon cycle by the

process of burial and conversion into coal or oiU"

The growth and then decay and decomposition of timber is a natural cycle in which carbon is

removed from the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis, and then released back into the

atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane by the decay or combustion of the timber at the end of the

life cycle of the tree.

Wood or biomass is regarded as a carbon neutral renewable resource. In Europe and the US, waste

from industry and forestry is converted into wood pellets for use in automated boiler systems for central

heating, and there have been suggestions that timber resources could be used for the production of

base-load green electricity. Ray Cavill provides a comparison of different energy sources that can be used

for the generation of electricity and the amount of greenhouse gases produced for each kilowatt hour

of power produced 4

Energy Source

(Coal-fired) Electricity


Native Forest

Plantation Forest (off cuts)

kg CO2 per KWhr





These figures indicate that forest products used to generate electriCity would produce significantly less

greenhouse gases than other sources of energy and that "the use of off-cuts from sawm ill ing practices

from plantation timber grown on ex-farmland results in a net carbon sequestration " 5 due to the

sequestration of carbon in the product manufactured using the timber.

In Australia, our forest resources regularly burn. The Black Saturday fires in 2009 would have released

unimaginable quantities of carbon back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, but, even without that

fire, over time that carbon would have been released into the atmosphere. And over time, those forests

will once again remove that carbon.

There is a fossil carbon component in the cutting and transportation of wood for the use in kilns, and


Focus: Wood-Firing

Ian Jones, Basket, 2009

anagama-fired stoneware day

h.31cm, w. 15cm

photo: Stuart Hay

Ia n Jones, Jar, 2009,

Stoney Hole Creek granite clay

h. 17cm, w.16cm

photo: Stuart Hay


Focus : Wood-Firing

some reports suggest that this could be as high as ten per cent. Also the emissions from the chimney can

be "fairly nasty", similar to those found in tobacco smoke, so we are not strictly on the side of the angels.

The focus of Ray Cavill's MA dissertation concerns methods of controlling these particulate emissions.

Twenty years after my initial research into this topic, and at a time of far greater concern about carbon

emissions, I would argue that the coneiusions I reached in 1989 are still valid:

The use of wood in firing kilns will have less impact on the general environment than the use of fossil

fuels such as L.P.G. (or coal-generated electricity) provided that several points are considered:

1. Trees are planted to replace those that are harvested to provide fuel.

2. Wherever possible, waste wood from industry or harvesting for timber production is used.

3. Mature trees that provide habitat for wildlife (especially in rural landscapes) are not cut.

The type of kiln that Moraig and I fire is not efficient, and the amount of fuel we use could produce a

lot more pots in a more efficient type of kiln, but I choose to use this kiln because it gives a result I cannot

achieve any other way. Making pots of any kind is a very human activity and, like all human activities, it

comes with an environmental cost; and, like all human activities, we need to find ways of minimising those

costs rather than ceasing the activity. At the end of the process, the question potters firing electric, gas

or wood-fired kilns have to ask themselves is: Were the pots produced worth the environmental impact

involved in making them?

1 Ray Cavill, 'Minimising Environmental Impact in Reduction Atmosphere Wood-firing through Kiln Design,

Materials and Atmosphere Control', p16

2 Steve Harrison, 'Continuing Green: A Potters

Response to Global Warming', Th e Journal of

Australian Ceramics, Issue 46#2, 2007

3 Ian Jones, 'Wood: the Most Ecologically Sound

Fuel', Woodfire '89 proceedings; Pottery in

Australia, Issue 28#3, 1989, pp24-25

4 Cavill p15

5 Cavill p15

Ian Jones is a PhD candidate at t he

ANU, Canberra.

E: laughingfrogpot@netscape.net

C/O Post Office, Gundaroo NSW 2620


Opposite: Moraig McKenna, Basket, 2009,

Moraig's wood-fire porcelain, unglazed anagama-flred.

h.21cm, w.16cm; photo: Stuart Hay

Right: Ian Jones. Vase , 2009, Stone-y Hole Creek granite

clay, anagama-fired, h.24cm. w.12cm; photo: Stuart Hay


Focus: Wood-Firing

OPPosite: Gail Nichols, Flash, bowl, 2009, soda vapour glaze. stoneware

h.19cm, w.30cm, d.33cm: photo: Michel Brauot

Living with Fire

Gail Nichols reports on a 'tree change' and a dual approach to fire

Several years ago, my husband Dave and I joined the 'tree change' generation and moved to a

120-acre property 20 km east of Braidwood, NSW, on the western boundary of Budawang National

Park. The house and studio are solar powered, rainwater is stored in tanks and heating and cooking

are fueled with wood. We share the property with wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, and even the odd

quoll. Our nearest human neighbours are 1.5 km away. This is very different from our previous life in

Marrickville in Sydney, where the neighbours were nearly within arms reach and we saw more dogs and

cats than native wildlife.

The move had a significant impact on my work. In the more expansive environment my thoughts

and imagination roamed more freely. I acquired a heightened sense of space, and this led to better

understanding of form. I began fossicking around our property for local materials. As I developed new

clay bodies and observed their responses to flame and soda vapour, solid sculptural forms evolved to suit

the new materials. It was a gradual process of adapting to a new place, some conscious but much of it


Moving to the country presented an opportunity to design and build a new kiln. Years before the

move I had established my work in the area of gas-fired, soda glaze ceramics, acquiring a respectable

understanding of my three glaze components: soda, clay and fire. I was aware that technically, many

of the unique surfaces on my work, such as the characteristic 'soda ice glaze', could not be achieved

in a wood kiln. The reasons lay in the composition of wood ash and the cyclic atmospheric changes

inherent in stoking with wood. So, in my new environment, I decided to continue with gas firing, but

I was influenced by my association with wood-firers. I designed the new kiln with 6 LPG burners, each

with a corresponding soda port, entering through the side walls, with flame and vapour directed inward

and upward through the pack. Kiln shelves were arranged in a hop-scotch pattern around and between

the multiple fireboxes. The design was reminiscent of the side-stoke arrangement in a wood kiln. It has

proven to work very well in producing good soda distribution and directional effects.

One of the challenges of my new environment was the fact that the winters are much colder than in

Sydney, and LPG cylinders are especially prone to icing up during frosty winter nights. Running water

over the cylinders, a common practice in Sydney, simply created more ice here, apart from being a

terrible waste of water. A new approach was required. I built a small wood firebox at the front of my

kiln, and began supplementing with wood through the night, during the early bisque stage to about

7000(, I then fired purely with gas through the high temperature stages during warmer daylight hours.

The wood flame was more effective than gas at heating the massive dense firebrick floor, so the kiln

fired more easily. I found I was able to produce my high temperature gas-fired surfaces, icing of cylinders

was avoided overnight, and my firing costs were noticeably lower. Then the inevitable happened. I

became a connoisseur of wood, noting that even with this limited use of wood-fire, the type of wood

burned had an impact on the results. I now have a special stack of apple wood put aside for my firings,

as it gives me clearer colours and less muddy brown ash .

But am I a 'real' wood-firer? The fact is that I work with fire and its atmospheric dynamics to create

my work. Understanding fire is the key factor, not the particular choice of fuel. In this regard, my

move to the country has had another significant impact. Along with the enhanced freedom of country


Focus: Wood-Firing

Above: Gail Nichols introducing her soda mix - light soda

ash, baking soda and whiting. mixed with water and set like

plaster into solid pieces; photo; Dave Nelson

Below: Gail Nichols removes a draw nng from the hot kiln

to help her judge the amount of soda glaze build-up on the

clay surfaces; photo: Dave Nelson


Focus: Wood -Firing

life, there IS a new restnction I hadn't

encountered much in Sydney - the

awareness of fire in the landscape.

Wood-fire potters are accustomed to

adjusting their firing times to suit the

Australian climate, which means firings

tend to be concentrated during the

winter months and avoided during

hot dry summer periods, commonJy

times of total fire bans. In recent years,

however, the summer period has been

encroaching into months previously

assumed to be of low fire danger. As a

member of our local rural fire brigade,

I spent a weekend in August 2009

protecting properties from a major

fire on the NSW South Coast. The

conditions were termed 'unseasonable'.

It's only August, we said, as hot dry

winds pushed the spectacular yet

eerie fireworks up into the night sky

and toward a series of coastal towns.

Since then the onset of summer has

brought more waves of unseasonably

high temperatures across the country,

with accompanying fires. Warnings of

the newly categorised 'catastrophic' fire

danger level, meant to apply to very

rare conditions, have been issued on

numerous occasions.

I avoid firing my kiln during the hot

windy weather of total fire ban days,

partly out of respect for my neighbours

and the law, and also because those

conditions make it uncomfortable to be

working around a hot kiln. Increasingly,

I'm finding that the year is divided

between cooler seasons when I work

creatively with fire in my kiln, and

warmer times when as a property owner

and volunteer firefighter, I'm involved

in preventing or suppressing fires in the

landscape. This duality has given me a

broader understanding of fire behaviour.

Gail Nichols. Cloud Nine. vase. 2009

soda vapour glaze, stoneware

h.30cm, w. 13cm, d.13cm; photo: Michel Brouet


Focus: Wood-Firing





- d I"


- .

Left: Gail Nichols' gas-fIred soda kiln, with wood~fire assist, at Mongarlowe NSW; photo: Gail Nichols

Right: Gail Nichols designed this kiln with six LPG venturi burners, each with a corresponding soda port and firebox. Kiln

shelves are placed around and between the fireboxes in a hopscotch pattern. This arrangement is reminiscent of a side-stoke

arrangement in a wood kiln.

As a potter, I've gained renewed appreciation of refractories and kiln design and our ability to contain

and control a powerful fire within a simple structure of bricks, mud and steel.

What is it that is so fascinating about peering into a hot kiln? Protected by refractories, safety gear

and our expertise at kiln control, we are watching an otherwise catastrophic phenomenon play itself out

in front of us. Atmospheric firings involve taking calculated risks and accepting a degree of uncertainty

in the process. But the terms 'fire', 'risk' and 'uncertainty' are difficult to link together in a positive

sense these days. Who could have watched the news reports of the 2009 Victorian bushfires without

coming away with vivid images of what uncontrolled fire can do - blackened landscapes, piles of ash

where houses once were, steel road signs melted into graceful curvaceous sculptures, pieces of jewellery

pulled from the ashes, no longer decorative trinkets, but rather reminders of lives lost. Presumably

many fragments of ceramics survived, cracked, coloured or further fused by the fire. As potters, can we

respond to such imagery without being reminded of what happens, in a more controlled way, inside our


As the term 'catastrophic' becomes more widely used in news and weather reports, and neighborly

discussions focus on sprinkler systems, fire bunkers and evacuation plans, it seems 'fire' is becoming

a dirty word, something to be feared rather than celebrated. "Fire is the new pornography," a friend

recently joked. Where does that leave us, for whom fire is a principle tool of ou r artistic trade? In the

current context, is there something obscene, or at least very sobering, about ceramic artworks that

flaunt their pyrotechnic adventures, advertising their bold red flashings, flowing molten surfaces and

black carbon markings? Perhaps recent events will force us to re-examine this sort of work, prompting

greater appreciation of the power of fire, the beauty and the horror, the dual potential for construction

and destruction.

We can 't avoid the duality of fire in our lives. While I'm exploiting the dynamics of fire in my work,

I'm being more careful than ever to ensure that fire doesn't exploit me. When I'm collecting wood for

the kiln these days, I consider where is the best place to stack it so as to minimize the risk to house

and studio in case of bush fire. Likewise, my gas cylinders have an alternative storage site when I'm


Focus: Wood-Fi ring

left· Gall NIChols' soda kiln. cooled and ready for

unloading. photo: GaJl NIChols

Below: Gail Nichols, Red Sea , 2009, soda vapour

glaze stoneware. h. 1 Oem, w.2Scm, d.19cm

photo: Mtehel Brouet

not firing. located to allow us to defend our home without working near venting cyl inders. Safe work

practice is nothing new, likewise for Australian bushfires. Recent events have provided an imperative

to work with greater awareness to avoid becoming fuel ourselves. There is the added concern that

increased bushfire activity may be a symptom of man-made climate change lead ing to doomsday for our

descendants; so there is more potential horror, and a gu ilt trip to boot. But I know I am likely to keep on

firing (w ith reasonable concessions to safety and environmental concerns) and I am determined to enjoy

my work w ith clay and fire, even if I am forced to keep my enthusiasm to myself, or shared mainly w ith

fellow potters. Given the predictions of cl imate change, it seems this dual approach to fire is a challenge

I will face for the rest of my artistic life. Personally, I hope the tension will inspire deeper insight into

process, and my work will continue to move on .

Dr Gail Nichols lives and works near

Braidwood, NSW. She is a sessional lecturer in

ceramics at Australian National University in


An exhibition of Gail's work, Shades of Mass

and Form, will be held at Sabbia Gallery

in Paddington, Sydney

10 March - 3 April 2010


Focus: Wo od-Firing

A Personal Journey with Clay

and Wood

Malcolm Greenwood, who doesn't even bother mentioning firing processes when

describing his work. contemplates wood-firing and the art of putting food on the


" It is the end produd which is the most important, not so

much the type of firing we use."

My first wood firing experience was in Massachusetts,

USA in about 1977, not long after I fi rst started working

with clay in 1976. It was with a very primitive wood-fired

raku kiln, built into a small hillside and construded with

found and scrounged materials. It worked pretty well as

a raku firing and did serve to give me some indication of

the heat that could be achieved with wood as some of the

old house bricks I scrounged began to melt! Of course my

partner thought I was completely crazy Sitting out in the extreme cold and snow, stoking a fire all day.

The next wood-fired kiln was in Nigeria, West Africa, In 1978179. The use of wood as a fuel was

a necessity as it was very difficult to find burners and a constant supply of gas. It was a disaster, not

reaching temperature and not even looking like getting close; still it was a great learning experience.

After returning to Australia in 1980, I was involved in building a two-chambered kiln, firing it for three

days in the middle of a January heat wave. Our friends and partners thought we were "off the planet" .

The fascination continued, even though the next few years were marred by building an anagama the

landlord would not allow us to fire and building another two-chambered kiln which ended up being too

large and the firings questionable!

In 1989 I began to make my living entirely from selling my ceramic work. No more making woodfired

potters' pots. I had to make work with wider appeal. At this time I felt that, in some ways, it was

at least equally as challenging as wood-firing, to make work in a gas kiln which would be exciting and

have a similar depth of cha racter.

It wasn't until 2005, whilst participating in another wood firing, while helping with some TAFE firings

at the Sturt workshops, that my fascination was rekindled. In the ensuing years, Bruce McWhinney and I

have fired the anagama and noborigama several times at Sturt with great results from both kilns.

Why fire with wood?

Undoubtedly, firing a kiln with wood is an amazing experience: seeing the heat in the kiln bUild, the

flames licking and flowing around the pots and the embers building up in the firebox and burying the

first rows of work; not to mention stoking the kiln and seeing the wood explode into flames and then

flames leaping from the ch imney to light the night sky.

Wood-firing can produce some absolutely astounding surfaces and colours on the work which cannot

be obtained any other way. Many of the results are, however, very subtle and require a significant

understanding of the process and a sophisticated aesthetic in order to appreciate the quiet and rugged

beauty of the work.

I find that I have to unload a kiln, put the work aside and come back to it maybe weeks later in order

to be able to appreciate the full beauty of the work. I have even put work in the seconds pile, come

back to it a year later and only then realised that it is, in fad, a gem l I wonder how many gems were


Focus: Wood -Firing

Opposite: Vase , 2009. stoneware, shlno slip. ash glaze, h30cm, w.12cm, d.12cm; photo: Olkawa

Above: Blossom Vase , 2008, stoneware. ash glaze, h.32cm. w.30cm, d.30cm; photo: Steve Cummings

Below' Blossom Vase , 2007, porcelain, celadon. h.30cm, w.29cm. d.29cm; photo. Steve Cummings


Focus: Woo d-Firing

Iga-style Vase , 2008. stoneware, ash·glazed

h.28cm, w.1Ocm, d.l0cm; photo. Steve Cummings

destroyed before I realised I had to be patient

and give myself time to appreciate them.

I usually have some expectations with regard

to the results I would like from a firing. If the

work is somewhat different, it may not be

initially appreciated and I may need to put it

aside. However, this randomness which comes

from wood-firing, particularly a long firing,

adds to the excitement and fascination with the

process. There is also a need for 'maturity' and/or

experience to be able to understand the results.

The market for wood-fired pots in Australia is

incredibly small, being limited to other potters

and a small number of collectors who understand

and appreciate the beauty of this type of ceramic

work. For those of us who don't teach, instead

relying on the sale of our work to provide an

income and the financing for our 'art work',

firing with wood is mostly only an adjunct to our

ceramics practice.

There is certainly no true or one way to make

or fire our work! It is the end result which is the

most important.

During the last year or so there was a level

of frustration with regard to wood-firing - aka

withdrawal symptoms! Not being involved with

a wood-firing now for about 12 months, it is

interesting to reflect on why and how I have

managed to fill that void.

Living and working in the city (where the main

market for my work is), I do not have immediate

access to a wood-fired kiln. With recent solo

exh ibitions and several group shows, the sales of

work from the last few wood-firings have been

very good, but there is still a reasonable inventory

which needs to be moved to make way for new


Preparing for a wood-firing requires not only

time to create the work, but maybe even more

time collecting, cutting and splitting the wood.

With two major exhibitions as well as orders for

several tableware customers (most particularly a


Focus : Wood-Firing

Right Malcolm. exhausted

Below: Corrugated Vase.

stoneware. shlno slip. ash glaze

h.2Scm; photo: Steve CummIngs

group of five Japanese restaurants for which I have produced about 100 different shapes and possibly

5000 pieces during the last year), there has been little spare time to fire with wood.

On several occasions, the owner of the Japanese restaurants would visit and see (and appreciate) the

numerous wood-fired pots on my workshop shelves or on display in my home. The inevitable would

come up: "Can you produce a platter with that glaze/surface for the restauranU" Obviously it was not

economically or logistically feasible for me to produce this work in a wood-fired ki ln, so I've been playing

w ith ash and slips (plus a few other odds and ends) and developing some exciting surfaces.

I began to see the challenge of producing work in the gas kiln which incorporated the same beauty

and excitement found in the wood-fired work. Early success was the needed encouragement to

continue down this path, as well as opening up other possibilities to explore.

Last year's work has shown me that it is the end product which is the most important, not so much

the type of firing we use. Now, I do not mention the firing process in the description of my work. Of

course I will always be fascinated and challenged by wood-firing and the results, but forever eager to

explore the possibilities offered by firing with both gas and wood.



Focus: Wood-Firing

Rowley Drysdale talks with

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

I met Gwyn Hanssen Pigott on Platform 1 (and only) of the Nambour Train Station on a hot Saturday

afternoon in January this year. She was carrying a small backpack. I commented that its smallness

indicated to me a seasoned traveller. She pointed out she was only visiting for a night, then admitted it

was 'mostly books' before requesting that, before anything else, we find a coffee shop.

Not long after ordering we were talking about ceramics. No surprise there, I guess. Chimneys and flue

exits was one topic, which was illustrated with the liberal use of sugar packets spread across the table.

Some hour or two later, on the lakeside veranda at Quixotica we began a more formalised interview,

which I recorded with an MD Walkman, while taking notes.

The interview had been arranged after I had emailed a number of questions, which Gwyn had replied

to by canvassing the idea of visiting the Sunshine Coast and answering them verbally. I always stipulate

that interviewees reserve the right to rewrite questions if it would make for a better answer, but a faceto-face

interview was clearly Gwyn's preference.

Right from the conversation in the coffee shop, I was taken aback by the familiar use of legendary

artists' Christian names - Bernard, Michael, Lucie and Hans etc. For her they were flesh and blood

people, respected and admired; for me they were names on covers of books you should read .

Gwyn began talking about La Borne, France, a place she first visited in the early 60s, after seeing a

wood-fired oil jar made in that region . Up to that time her taste had been nurtured by her study of the

Kent Collection of Chinese ceramics in Melbourne, her years working with Ivan McMeekin (a dedicated

sinophile) and later her time with Ray Finch and Michael Cardew among traditional British pots,and her

growing appreciation of a European aesthetic.

Of course, her time with Bernard and Janet Leach,

fresh from Tamba and Shigaraki, had opened her eyes

to a Japanese tradition that was gaining growing

importance to potters world-wide. Of this, she said :

"I loved the surface of Japanese pots, but the

aesthetic was new to me. I didn't feel comfortable with

it and the whole philosophy of (and I am simplifying

here), the wabi sabi and the shibui and the aCCIdental

... and humility ... troubled me.

"I mean, how can you try to be humble? When I saw

that La Borne oil jar, I immediately fell in love with it,

and I felt at home with it; it wasn't a judgement on the

others. These were pots that hadn't been philosophised

over. They came out of need."

It's obvious to me that Gwyn Hanssen Pigott has

an extraordinarily good memory. She detailed shards

she found around a La Borne wood-firing village fifty

years ago; spoke about the practice of those French

villagers using pillow cases of ash in their wash water,

and then how that 'washed ash' became glaze material;

commented that all the potters from another nearby

village had been killed during World War I; described


Focus: Wood-Firing

OpPosIte Oil Jar from La Borne.

Central France, early 20th C

photo. Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

left. Stokmg the three chamber kiln.

les Grandes Fougeres, France, 19605

photo Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Australian potter and her teacher Ivan McMeekin as 'her hero'; praised the work of contemporary

Australian ceramic artist Sandy Lockwood; and later described In colourful detail encountering pilgrims

in India, where she estimated their numbers by a unique counting system - "ten to the breath" .

Here are her answers to a few of the questions that made it into our conversation.

RO: You have been Interviewed on numerous occasions for craft magazines, documentaries and the

national press; is there a question you thought or even wished you should have been asked but never


GHP: I don't often get a chance to talk about trusting. In my life anyway, and in a lot of potters' lives,

there is a lot of trusting involved ... you set out on something and you have no idea. It'S not something

that's going to make you rich or anything like that, and you don't know where it's gOing to lead (but) I

Just found it to be a most extraordinary life ... things lead, and I felt really lucky the way things led. It is

very much to do with trusting; trusting that if you do what you feel is the right thing for you everything

opens up to you, opens out for you, and that happens; and even just living your life based on pottery,

It'S still like that. My income is based on now, an audience, and you can't oblige an audience to buy

anything. I gave up teaching in '88; that was a big act of faith and since then it's Just been pots. Follow

IntUition and trust, not worry (and) never try and do something that IS not real for you . It will only make

you Sick.

(Sometime later, Gwyn returned to the subject and quoted an old proverb, "Trust in God but tie up your

donkey", and explained the quote meant to her: "Take precautions but trust; you do what you can then

trust; it's not just all go with the flow; well, go With the flow but tie up your donkey" .)

RO: In the Creative Cowboys documentary, you made a point that LUCIe Rie's electric-fired ceramics

illustrated to you certain qualities .. .

GHP: Exactly. If the quality is not there in a pot, wood is not going to help. It's just going to disgUise It a

bit until you start liVing with it. I'm very strict with students uSing wood-firing kilns - it entails so much

work and IS such a process. I say to them, only put something In a wood kiln that has some quality

Don't put something In It and think that It IS gOing to be improved simply because it will be wood-fired

... by the surface

RO: Speaking about surfaces, what did you think about those comments that good wood-firing surfaces

can encapsulate a 'sense of elapsed time', or a sense of 'condensed geological time')

GHP: You're talking about unglazed work, the long wood-fired thing, because with glazed work It

doesn't apply; and it doesn't apply to my work. You do feel about those very long-fired, unglazed

pots and, I don't know If I would use those words, they feel like they have been burnt to rock; there's

something so baSIC and rock-like about them, and the denseness of them. Some of them are almost like

ash themselves, like on some of Kohyama's pots - sort of crusty greys, dry almost, and It really goes with

his forms.


Focus: Wood-Firing

RO: Are you tempted to create those surfaces when you go to Japan for your residency later this year?

GHP: I've been invited to help Kohyama fire his large anagama kiln. I don't expect to have work in it.

Sut I have fired my own work a few times in Heja Chong's noborigama kiln in Dunmoochin and learned

a loti The first time I took down the sort of work I normally would glaze and fire in my own small

Sourry-type wood ki ln - teapots, mainly. They were all w rong. So then I started making pots especially

for her kiln - simple Morandi inspired bottles and thick Italianate drinking bowls. In fact, that was the

start of my still life groups.

Yasuhisa Kohyama, Vessel with ikebana at his home In Shigaraki, 2008; photo: Gv-.yn Hanssen Pigott

(Gwyn has written of Kohyama's mastery of the anagama firing process and how his work bears a

" heightened sense of energy frozen ." She details how, when taking a piece of drought-hardy grevillea

and placing it into a Kohyama piece, there is "a new breath, a balance of sobriety and delicacy, a pure

delight. ")

RO: In the future, do you see yourself making work other than wood-fired?

GHP: Oh yeah, but while I can I like the wood.

RO: Do you refire wood-fired work in electric or gas?

GHP: I do a lot of test firing in my tiny gas kiln, and refiring. I grind grit and grot off, touch up with

glaze and refire; but my work is glazed; it is not the Sizen type. Whatever gets the good results, fine.

That's the thing; it's not a religion .

RO : If somebody asked you to recommend a must-read about ceramics, if not wood-firing, what would

you recommend?

GHP: Oh, I think Leach's A Potters Book, much maligned, lovely gorgeous book; and Michael Cardew's

Pioneer Pottery - especially the chapter about why he does it. Cardew is a wonderful writer.

RO : We have already talked about the notion of the romance of flame ..

GHP: Well there is romance of the flame. I wanted to experience that; I like to fi re really quietly so you

can hear the flame . I don't like the idea of a party or something . While you're firing you're just firing,

and listening, because it is so much to do with sound ... and Just sensing it.

RO: Do you have superstitions in the context of firing a kiln?

GHP: Superstitions? Well I like it to be a quiet thing. I would absolutely not tolerate the idea of throwing

anything into the kiln that's not wood, especially a cigarette butt. That is a pet, well, not 'hate' - but

you are working with this - the kiln is your partner.

RO: Talking, not about religion or spirituality .


Focus: Wood-Firi ng

1 Still Life, 1987, fired In Heja Chong's kiln, Victoria; Powerhouse Museum Collection; photographer: unknown

2 Shell, 1999. wood-fired Limoges porcelain, Netherdale; photo: Brian Hand

3 Two pale cups, 2007. translucent porcelain; photo: Brian Hand


Focus: Wood -Firing

Fade with four bowls, 2008. translucent porcelain; photo: Bnan Hand

GHP: Well I don't use that word because I don't know what 'spirituality' means ...

RD : You spoke about 'lightness' ..

GHP: That is basic, the possibility of lightness in your life, of transformation and that's what I love

about translucent porcelain, the transformation, that's what I was saying. Quite on purpose I make

very ordinary shapes that are neutral and, I think, about ordinariness. If I make a group of pots, I never

have a leader; I want simplicity. But put these pots in the light and something incredible happens .. the

whole thing, it's so extraordinary to watch the changes; I just love it, and I feel, 'that's it'. It's about that

possibility of the ordinary being transformed into potential. It's something not really to be spoken about.

These are experiences aren't they? And hopefully they are reactions.

RD : What do you think about my accountant's question concerning the amount of effort that goes into

a wood firing: "I take it you wood fire because it gives you a higher success rate than any other fuel"?

GHP: In a way he is right! When they are more beautiful they are actually more successful than the gas.

There is something satisfying about making something that surprises you with its loveliness. Isn't there?

RD: How are your hands and wrists?

GHP: Good.

RD : How's your back?

GHP: Not 50 good.

RD: How's your heart?

GH P: What do you mean hearP My ticker is good; my heart is fine; it's good, very good, thank you.

That's the thing I try to nourish most.

Still life with two bowls, 2008

wood-fIred porceUaneous stoneware

photo: Brian Hand



utes, boots, clay and shed

wood, chainsaw, beer and buckets

surfboard, kiln log, water bottle

grinder, gloves, towel and rice

sawdust, chair, axe and wire

light rain, red wine, chainsaw file

matches, ear muffs, broken bricks

wood, ladder, and electric light

tarp, suncream, wood and hat

shovel, block splitter, chocolate biscuits

petrol, bricks, wood and buckets

socks, pyrometer, coffee and wood

wheelbarrow and a south-west breeze

stories, kiln shelves, measuring tape

dust pan, brush and watermelon

cushion, bar lube, pocket knife

phone and wood and hydraulic oil

corkscrew, broom, extension lead

symmetry, asymmetry, handkerchief

kiln props, battery, torch and wood

shirt, trolley and barbeque plate

lip balm, salt, and apple pie

enough pots, sake and cashew nuts

shells, board wax and shino glaze

hammer, tweezers, mist on the lake

matches, pants, garden hose

radio, rake and reading glasses

pencil, white wine, mug and sponge

mattress, wood, kangaroo steak

wood, bricks and socket set


Stephen Roberts 2010

Focus: Wood-Firing

Stonehenge, local cla y.

fired on side, wad marks

relate to each piece,

h.24cm, w.12cm, d.12cm

All photos: Len Cook

Tropical Anagama

North Queensland wood-firer Len Cook traces his involvement with kilns, canefie lds

and rainforest

Sugar Cane Field Anagama 1991

I built my first anagama near Coolbie, a remote rural area on the coast, 35 km from Paluma . A friend

had purchased some land which was originally used for grazing cattle. At the time it seemed to be

a good idea as there were plenty of ideal places to construct the kiln. After six firings and numerous

changes to the chimney in the following years, I managed to get some promising results.

Having the kiln in a remote area, meant everything from camping gear to drinking water had to be

trucked from Paluma to Coolbie. I invited a few fellow potters to participate in firing, but because of

the uncertain nature of the results, most lost interest. One design problem with the anagama was that

the pitch, or incline angle, of the kiln was too shallow and subsequently it was always colder at the rear

of the kiln. In hindsight, building the anagama away from my home was a bad idea as it became very

labour intensive and the sugar cane farmers were very nervous about the possible fire risk to the cane.

Eventually the farm was sold.

Catenary Arch Kiln 1995

Disappointed with the outcome of the anagama near Coolbie, I decided to build another wood-fired

kiln, Thinking about the quantity of the Coolbie anagama pots which received the hammer treatment, I

built a small catenary kiln in my backyard. I kept the kiln small so that I didn't need an army of people to

help me fire it. With a few adjustments, this kiln produced excellent results in twenty hours and in some

parts of the kiln I achieved effects similar to anagama firings. This lured me back into building another

anagama. I now had some experience in anagama building and was able to eliminate the design

problems to build a better kiln for Paluma.


1 Wood stack at Hussey Road, Carribea pine and Black. wattle

2 Ellen Terrell and Kelly Davis at the end of the anagama firing

3 Flame thrower, front of the anagama

Paluma Anagama 1999

In 1999, I built an anagama in my front yard. As we'd had an unusually wet year, I construded the firebox

floor and three stepped platforms for the chamber floor. In 2000 I f inished the chamber arch and chimney

and had my first firing. My front yard is sloping, which was advantageous for the angle needed for the

chamber. A friend, Kelly, built a gently sloping kiln shed over the anagama. Over the range, west of Paluma,

there are pine plantations (PinUS Caribaea) and lots of Black Wattle (Acacia Melanoxylon) which usually fall

over after the wet season. I fire up to temperature with pine, adding Black Wattle towards the end of the

firing. I usually fire for 100 hours.


Focus: Wood -Firing

Rowley Drysdale (RD): What do you perceive as the advantages and disadvantages

of having these types of kilns in the tropics?

Len Cook (LC)

The advantages of having an anagama in Paluma are:

1. Availability of wood

2. Being able to f ire the kiln without having to worry about fire restrictions

3. No immediate neighbours to complain about smoke

4. Paluma residents are very involved and interested in seeing the anagama being fired.

5. Winter weather is quite cool and usually very stable; it's a good time to fire.

The disadvantages are:

1. Trying to get wood dry enough before the firing

2. Double handling the wood which is stacked west of Paluma in drier country

3. Pots sometimes take longer to dry when the humidity is high

RD: How do the regional characteristics of climate, geology and vegetation impact

on your work?


1. High humidity could influence natural glaze surface, as high humidity automatically introduces water

into the kiln, causing reduction .

2. Locally found clay influences my pot shapes as it rest ricts me to making pieces which are made in one

throw. Additions seem to be quite obvious after the firing.

3. Locally harvested wood affects the local clay colour, producing individual effects.

RD: Is there a specifically regional character emerging in North Queensland ceramics born out

of your responses to the above questions?

LC: I'm not sure how to answer this one. I think wood-fired ceram ics are as individual as the people

who produce them.

RD: Is there a connection between self-sufficiency in more remote areas and the ethos

of wood-firing?

LC: I see firing the anagama as a total indulgence and a long way from being self sufficient. It is a

labour of love as the kiln produces only a small number of pieces I am really happy with. Most of the

other pieces are sold through my studio. They are okay, but I couldn't survive on the sales of these



Carbon·trap Shino Vase, local clay

h.2lem, w.l1cm

Gourd-shaped Vase, local clay, fIred on its side

h.3Bcm. w. 14cm

len Cook on his work:

"The pots I make for my anagama are derivatives of a mix of contemporary and classic oriental forms.

I consciously omit additions such as lugs and sprigs. I want the ware be decorated by the flame path

and deposited ash . I like the idea of an uninterrupted surface for the flame to interact with the clay

- something like a painter starting with a blank canvas. This making process sometimes produces very

soft ash effects giving the pieces a mysterious quality.

When I fire my anagama I feel I am just a conduit to the end result. I load and fire the kiln pretty

much the same every time. yet I get different results every time. I wonder how many anagama firers can

predict exactly what they are going to get ...

I like this quote by Owen Rye: "My wood-fired pots are imagined as a possibility, not designed. With

that imagined possibility, there is the knowledge that the eventual reality will be different, perhaps

better, perhaps worse, but always different. The wood-fired pot is unalterably unique, with its distortions

and flaws. It is also the consequence of a human act."


Another discussion on tropical anagamas, with Arthur Rosser and Rowley Drysdale, is now available

online: www.australianceramics.com


- - -- ------------

Focus: Wood-Firing

Feeling for Fire

A lustrous affair __ . and a courtship of possibilities.

Yuri Wiedenhofer outlines his latest foray into experimental kiln building

It"s been three decades since the late Alan Peascod inspired our class at Canberra Art School. He held

an innovative torch to ceramics and forced-draught fired kilns.' As I recall, only some students were

introduced to smoked lustre, while others were exposed to wood-fired salt. I was among the latter. I

looked on as oxygen-deprived gas blasted into a quietly smoking metal box, burners thumping loudly.

Usually unattended, the kiln looked intimidating and rather explosive. Nearby, our heads wrapped in

towels, we'd blast air into a roaring salt kiln, the forced draught throwing a long, horizontal flame into

our faces. We looked like wandering Bedouins. Others, in woollens, floated about like Sufis. These were

heady days, and the seeds of passion were implanted in us all.

To quote Peascod, " I always felt that the rhythm of forced draught-fired kilns was a very valuable tool

in motivating students to become committed pyromaniacs, and hence develop a feeling for fire." 2

Years later, I was motivated to take part in Peascod's smoked lustre workshop at Fire-up Gu/gong, a

fire·fest of simultaneous wood-firing. The many lustre firings were stimulating, but too brief an affair for

this committed pyromaniac. The nearby tunnel kiln seemed to offer a greater experience. I've continued

to play around with kilns and employ a kind of 'lustre mentality' in firing, but still hold an unsatisfied

curiosity for this particular type of small wood kiln.

So, recently, when my friend Janna Ferris asked me to build her a wood kiln I responded

enthusiastically, It had to be small with a 'Dutch-oven' style firebox and I would also need to be able

Janna Ferris' wood kiln under construction, 2009

Below left. at floor level, passive damper, inlet flue slot, eXit flu es; below right at level of wall completion, showing door

opening prior to arch and crown construction; photos: Yuri W!edenhofer


Focus: Wood-Firing

Below: Off-set floor shelf, bag wall and eXit flues, pnor to crown construction; photo: Yun Wiedenhofer


Focus: Wood-Fi ring

Janna Ferris with completed glaze pack tor first firing,

showing offvset shelving arrangement, air inlet ports and

fire box; photo: Yun Wiedenhofer

to use it. Ferris works with oxidised, high-fired

earthenware, often with underglaze decoration.

I perceived my long-dreamt-of lustre kiln.

The materials were on hand, having long

been collected or saved. Dense firebrick was

used in the firebox and partially up the rear

wall, the floor, flues and chimney. The chamber

was constructed using light, insulating brick,

backed with fibreboard taken from a derelict old

gas kiln (its last firing prepared blanks for the

lustre workshop!). Braided rope, emerging as

coils from an old dusty box, insulated the roof;

ash and perlite filled any voids, and the whole

construction was encased in salvaged, partially

fired, adobe brick.

The firebox beneath the chamber throws a fan

of flames up the rear wall, pushing through the

setting; flames surge down through front corner

exits and back along the outside of a single brick firebox, exchanging heat and converging into the

chimney. A four-brick passive damper gives rear access to flues, rubble floors topped-up or raked lower,

another passive damper positioned several courses higher. A round masonry chimney tapers to a height

where a metal flue and spark arrester safely intervene. The firebox mouth is sliced shut with a counterbalanced,

tin guillotine.

A key feature is the front air inlets into the flue-channels, entering just below where flames and gases

exit the chamber. Their uses are manifold. As passive dampers, they throw up air curtains, partially

circumventing the chamber from the chimney to encourage reduction. As air intakes, exhaust gases

oxygenate while passing over the hot exterior of the firebox, ensuring a clean post-chamber burn. They

are also important for judging the volume and quality of fire leaving the chamber: a fire guide to firing.

The chimney shows reluctance to display plumage of billowy flames and smoke.

To minimise ash effects, a perforated, curved bag wall is arranged around a diamond floor plan.

A heavy, silicon carbide shelf is positioned off-square, the rear corner to pierce incoming flames, the

opposing corner midway between floor exits. A clay bag wall straddles the rear corner and rests on the

brick floor. The arrangement places the setting well clear of exit flues, providing space for combustion

where gases enter, split and mix and allows some flame passage under the floor shelf. The stack finds its

optimal position within the cube.

Of three earthenware firings Ferris has completed, each has been rather different. An opportunity

taken to tidy the yard meant the first fired much like an incinerator, consuming mostly timber off-cuts

and degraded hardwood. Some pots were marred, but generally the work offered subdued colour and

gently lustrous surfaces - a window to further possibilities. I loved the look, but, as w ith all wood firing,

the results didn't quite match expectations. Glazes were not the full gloss finish anticipated, appearing

under-fired, with some colours fugitive. A transition from electric firing to living wood-fire would not be

without a little angst.

Shields of paper-clay were then mounted on shelf perimeters to provide more protection. This second


Focu s: Wood -Firi ng

Collection of Janna's pots Just out of first

glaze wood-firing, 2009, slip-trailed With

underglazes, 1160· (

photo: YUfl Wiedenhofer

firing was noted for less offensive ash,

but the glaze took on carbon trapping

- for me a beautiful blue-grey, The

satin finish persisted, seeming not a

heat issue but a result of this wood-fire

thing! Sadly, that was it, Out went the

diamond floor setting and bag wall

and in came a serious, insulating, brick

structure surrounding a now squared

setting, capped with a shelf to just, maybe, take the wood out of the fire,

The third firing was completed in a comfortable eight hours, fired on short, well-split wattle, The work

was nicely oxidised; colours were bright and glazes showed the full gloss demanded of them, Wood-fire

effects were not in evidence, The pots had effectively been fired in a closed muffle, radiated in simple,

conducted heat, imitating results more usually produced in electric kilns, I thought it was rash not to flirt

more sensitively with the romance of wood,

looking at the results, we feel there's more to be had by embracing wood-fire, to exploit from it

something we're yet to see, or be offered, Consequently, the stifling muffle has been abandoned,

Several earlier pots, so hastily dismissed as refires, have been rescued, They now offer inspiration, the

blues and grey lifted, A courtship of possibilities continues through a feeling for fire - a grope in the

dark for the light of the kiln,

1 See Pot Burners and Vapour Jets as a Means of Firing by Alan Peascod, Pottery in Australia,

Vol. 9/2 , 1970, page 41

2 Alan Peascod in an interview with Janet Mansfield, Pottery in Australia, Vo1.24/3, 1985, page 40

Janna Ferris, Cups, 2009, wood-firing #2, slip-trailed with undeorglazes, 1160°C, each h.7cm, w.9.Scm

photo: Yuri Wiedenhofer



Focus : Wood-Fi ring

Barbara Campbell·AUen's favourite tool, an

impeller for mixing glazes, day and paperday,

made in 1981 when a student at ESTC.

Looking through the spy hole

photo: Sandy Lockwood

Sushi for the night shift

What is the worst thing you have seen

happen while f iring?

Barbara Campbell Allen (BCA): It was what

I didn't see - the flame disappeared from the

chimney and there was an eerie silence.

Gail Nichols (GN): While firing my Sydney kiln

one midwinter night. around 2 am (normally a

very peaceful time to be firing), I was unaware

that down the hill in the park, a drama was

taking place. Police had chased a suspect across

the Cooks River towards our place. Suddenly I

heard a noise below, and out of the darkness

rose a dripping-wet, wild-eyed figure, clawing

his way up the hill and into the circle of light

around my studio where I was busy feeding

chunks of soda into the roaring hot kiln. The

intruder was closely followed by dogs and

then police shouting and waving torches. I

took shelter inside as the procession raced past

the studio, into our yard and on through the

neighbourhood. Eventually the shivering culprit

was found, wrapped in a neighbour's blanket

and taken away. Sometimes I wonder whether

they even noticed me there, with the noise of the

burners, and glowing hot soda ports. Did it occur

to them to wonder what I was doing] Or was it

just a normal part of the scenery one finds when

crime-busting in the middle of the night in innersuburban


Kirk Winter (KW): Beach sand in wad mix.

when the kiln got to temp all settings slid over

in slow motion; or reduced cool from top temp

until red heat .. everything carbon coated.

worst kiln opening ever! Hideous; or a sleepdeprived

madman cutting wood at 2 am next

to an open side-stoke with an unsafe chain-saw

whilst verbally abusing helpers.

Su Hanna (SH): I have seen quite a few bad

things happen around wood kilns over the years

but the worst would be down at Graham Wilkie's

woodfire conference a few years back. There

were a couple of young women playing with the

horizontal flue. I'm not sure what they were up

to, maybe rakuing pots. Anyway one of them

was pulling her gloved hand out and the glove

fell off and she reached back in to save i(l'!!!

A 4 dollar glove! , ! !' She ended up at Geelong

hospital with fairly bad burns to her hand.


Focus : Wood-Fi ring

Unpacking the kiln

photo: Su Hanna

Sushi for the nlghtshift

photo: Sandy Lockwood

Sandy lockwood (Sl): Looking through the spy

hole towards the end of the firing and not being

able to see the cones, or the pots, or the shelves.

Prop failure led to an elegant collapse of the

front settings across the throat ... no wonder the

kiln became hard to fire.

Favourite tool

Sl: Because I work so directly with clay, I guess I

could say my favourite tools are my hands.

Personal ritual around the kiln

BCA: I always do the predawn shift, preferably

on my own, to have a few hours to retune into

the fi ring and think about the next 24 hours.

BCA: My first anagama, mind you I've only built

two. I am also fond of my impellor that I built

whilst at ESTC. I have used it for glaze mixing,

clay making and paperclay.

GN: A piece of two-by-four wood, about 30 cm

long. It makes wonderful impressions in 50ft clay.

And I can find one of these tools everywhere I

travel around the world ... no need to carry one

in my suitcase.

Janet Mansfield (JM): Now I am the proud

possessor of a Peter Pugger and a log splitter.

still use and like myoid kick wheel the best.

KW: Big kiln. Big adventure.

GN: Sketching plans for future kilns. So many

ideas come to mind when firing during the wee

hours of the morning.

JM: We have 27 theories during loading the kiln,

27 more ideas during the firing, at least 50 'what

do you think of .. .' during the cooling; and then

when all is revealed, another 27 theories about

what happened and ideas to try for next time.

KW: Sit down and rest between stokes. Pour

water everywhere near the end of the firing.

SH: Being an atheist I perform no rituals except

to clean around the kiln before a firing.

Sl: Sushi for the night shift.


Focus: Wood-Firing

Wood stack; photo: Sandy lockwood

Favourite comment about wood-firing

BCA: Sharing an aesthetics panel at a wood-fire

conference with Michael Keighery where he

opened with the words, "I really hate wood-fired

pots ... I mean I really do hate wood-fired pots".

lovely piece of writing about an anagama firing

with beaver wood.

Sl: Art & Fear by David Bayless and Ted Orland;

Wa bi Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and

Philosop hers by Leonard Koren

GN; "Is it really necessary to think about where

you are going7 Do only the lost need a map7

Are there different states of being lost? Is there

something fundamentally different between the

frightened lost who search urgently, and the

delighted lost who hum and smile and anticipate

the surprises across the hil17" 'Woodfire: One

Step Forward, Two Steps Back' by Owen Rye,

catalogue essay for the Different Stokes

International Woodfire Exhibition.

Must read books/articles

KW : Palissy trying to get his kiln to temp:

burning fence and furniture etc.

Owen Rye, Art of Uncertainty and his curatorial

essay for Australian Woodfire Survey 2005; Jack

Troy, Wood-fired Stoneware and Porcelain;

Peter Rushforth, Zen and the Art of Woodfiring.

SH: An article called Before the Temple of Fire

by Barry Lopez, Harpers magazine, 1998. It is a

Pet hate re wood-firing

BeA: After packing for two days, finishing the

door stack.

GN: Cleaning kiln shelves; also, mud wasps,

which love to build nests in gas burners,

oxyprobe sheaths, etc.

KW: Best pieces stuck together; big pot with big

crack , just before exhibition.

SH: I dislike too many people around when firing

and nothing worse than sharing a shift with

someone with no stories.

Thoughts about wood firing

Sl: It is important to me that wood-firing is not

considered separately from the other elements

of making. A synergy between the clay, form,

thoughts, glaze, kiln placement and firing is

essential. This is important for all work but

applies particularly to wood-firing because

surface effects can sometimes get out of balance.


Focus: Wood-Firing

Neil Hoffmann raises some questions which might be entertained

by delegates attending this event

Committing work to the process of wood-firing represents an act of faith or enquiry that is unlike

most other approaches in ceramic practice; those others usually being more measured with relatively

predictable or intended outcomes. The inclination of wood-fire practitioners to leap in this fashion with

their work begs some interesting questions: Why the willingness or interest in giving over to another

largely indeterminable force? Why are many wood-firers happy to substantially dilute their personal

marks of making by the action of wood-fire? Do wood-firers consider elemental wood-fire to have

as much or more to say than they themselves? And, if so, what is it that wood-fire articulates at the

invitation of the maker?

With many adopting the practice of wood-firing, clearly work produced by this method carries

a power to sway; so is there something generic to all overtly wood-fired work which is especially

noteworthy? Does all work carrying the marks of wood-fire share a definable quality, bear a common

significance? In other words, what is intrinsic to wood-fired work ... what is the significance of this

genre, if anything? Do practitioners adopt this genre of making for similar or distinctive purposes?

Wood-firers seem to have a predilection to announce their work with the adjective 'wood-fired'. Not

surprising, of course, but in so doing it seems something more is often meant than just 'work heated

using the fuel wood.' If so, what more is this lone descriptor intended to telegraph) Is there a further

generic meaning to work bearing evidence of wood-fire, or is this simply a convenient or even lazy

way to differentiate this work from ceramics more commonly seen, without invoking further thought

by additional words for the articulation of individual practice? Alternatively, is it a way of announcing a

'membership' or camaraderie with other makers smitten by a similar predilection for a certain habit or as

yet undefined [in words] aesthetic?

By limiting our language or confining it to 'wood-firer speak' - length of firing, noborigama, water

reduction, and so on - do we risk limiting our audience's engagement with what we make, or can we

better extend our audience beyond our own community by finding further language to contextualize

our work for our audiences' benefit?

These issues may be canvassed at Wood fire Tasmania 2011. No doubt you will have questions of

your own. Woodfire Tasmania 2011 will be a time and place not only to elicit answers to a variety of

questions regarding wood-fire practice, but also an opportunity to meet similarly inclined souls and to

begin new and enduring friendships. There will be exhibitions, demonstrations, guest speakers, forums,

individual presentations, films and important pub engagements.

For those contemplating a longer visit to Tasmania, there will be pre- and post-event opportunities.

The interests of those new to wood-firing will be specifically catered to with the collective wisdom and

experience of a good many well seasoned practitioners on offer.

Neil Hoffmann is the convener of WOODFIRE TASMANIA 2011.

Deloraine, 28 April - 1 May 2011

Anyone w ith ideas or perspectives they wish to forward for the planning of WFTAS 2011

can do so via the website, www.woodfiretasmania.com.au


Focus: Wood-Firi ng

Geoff C nspin

Owen Rye

----- --- -----

Geoff Thomas Sandy Lockwood Barbara Campbell-Allen

Potters Marks






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Janet Mansfield


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Kirk Winter


----------------------------------~ .-- -- - - -----

Focus : Wood -Fi ring

Carol Rosser Arthur Rosser Malcolm Greenwood

Gail Nichols Graeme Wilkie Yuri Wiedenhofer

Judy Boydell

Su Hanna

Len Cook

Steve Harrison


Focus : Wood-Firing

Working Fire -lines of sight behind the surface

Flame links

across millennia,

as fire is worked

to vitrify and hold

sustenance for life

and form for devotion .

Fire marks

us as a species,

to gather, clear and settle,

then fuse and forge

in copper, brass,

bronze and steel,

of utensil, implement,

bracelet and weapon.

That history

is a soft murmur now,

as I gather to me

the matter of making

- wood, clay, shale,

sandstone, dolerite and ochre.

In place and present

my eye flows across

iron-saturated clay

yellow, red and purpled,

compressed back to stone

pressured by time.

It catches on the flaking rinds

and mounded forms

of dolerite boulders

piled, waiting for the crusher.

Form grows,

plastic and stretched

containing space

as it waits for purpose.

Echoes, past and present,

w ild and civil, resound deep

within these vessels,

to blend and collide

until stillness comes.

The memory

of past firings is my guide,

as I imagine the flame

moving through the kiln.

Masking, shading, blocking,

the pots are placed

with hope, intent and care

on refractory wads,

marram grass and shells .

Entombed alone

in the kiln 's cold silence

as slowly over days

the vacant space fills,

I am remembering

how the flame ru ns

across a swell of curve,

blunts the cut raw facets

with barely-melted firebox ash,

or leaves faint traces

of powdery siliceous residue

beneath soft resistant wads.

Fire is the random finisher,

results are framed

not ordained,

as the final touch

is not sure by certain hand

but in surrender

to the fickle grace of fire.

Ben Richardson

South Arm

Autumn 2009


Focus: Wood- Firing


Focus: Wood-Firing

International and Australian

Wood-fired Ceramics

Coli Minogue and Robert Sanderson (editors and publishers of The Log Book)

give a brief personal overview

The idea of establishing an international magazine dedicated to wood-firing and wood-fired ceramics

occurred to us as we were nearing completion of our book Wood-fired Ceramics - Contemporary

Practices in the late 1990s. In the final stages of producing the book, it became apparent that such a

magazine would be a logical progression as a means of keeping in touch with and connecting woodfirers

worldwide (before the term 'blog' was ever invented). Our aim was to create an ongoing resource

and archive for all with an interest in the subject, be they professionals, wood-fire potters/ceramic artists.

students. collectors, curators, archaeologists or any other relevant category.

As it happened, both our book and the first issue of The Log Book - a modest, 20-page journal

printed in a single colour (not black, but a turquoisey-blue-black!) - were published in February 2000.

Our observations of developments in wood-firing and wood-fired ceramics at an international level

during the past ten years have very much been influenced by our experiences with The Log Book. Th is

has not just been through the editorial material we have received for consideration for publication, but

also the travelling entailed and the conferences and other specialist wood-fire events we have attended,

mostly in the USA, Australia and Europe, and also in parts of Asia.

There have definitely been changes in the field of wood-firing within this time. At one level. these

changes could be viewed quite pessimistically - particularly the changes linked to current trends in

ceramics education in general, such as the closing of departments within universities and colleges as has

happened in Scotland, for instance. Also. the imposition of more stringent health and safety regulations

has had an impact on the provision of wood-fire facil ities in education, certainly within Australia, as we

learned at the Sturt wood-fire conference in 2008.

However, countering this, it has been our experience that there is a groundswell of enthusiasm

amongst a younger generation of woodfirers - particularly in the USA, where many universities continue

to offer opportunities for students to wood-fire, as was evident from a show of hands by the audience

during a panel discussion at the 2007 NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts)


While there may be a decrease in opportunities to wood-fire in third level colleges, ceramic centres

offering wood-fire facilities to artists in residence continue to be popular choices for gaining experience

of wood-firing. In addition to the many centres throughout the USA, there are others such as

Guldageraard (Skaelskm) in Denmark and Kecskemet in Hungary.

On viSiting Australia for the first time in the early 1980s, we were very aware that many potters were

researching and using locally obtained materials in developing both clay bodies and glazes. It would


Focus : Wood-Firing



I ~




Far left. The first Issue of

The Log Book, February


Left Issue 27, the first

In full colour; published

In 2006 to cOInCIde with

the wood-fIre conference

NAU (Northern Arizona

UniVerSity), Flagstaff,

Amona, USA

Below Recent Issues

2009 and 2010

• Leet: Jiri., i. bstraIia

. w..4--firi_a _ ~

· I.~~(e.tn;

· u.sflf~ri

. .... Plus

appear to us that this practice has continued and expanded, amongst wood-firers in particular, and we

are now noticing that a movement towards using local/native/indigenous clays and glaze materials is

becoming more widespread in other countries, and is increasingly evident amongst younger wood-firers.

Another observation on international wood-firing practices in recent years is that more sculptural

work is being produced, a development perhaps stemming from the belief that many of the effects it is

possible to achieve, particularly during extended wood-firings, are best suited to purely sculptural forms.

There is certainly a strongly held perception overseas that the wood-fire scene in Australia is indeed

vibrant, and anyone we meet who has a serious Interest in the subject expresses a desire to visit and

experience this for themselves.

The first ever European Wood-fire conference is due to be held In Germany later thiS year. It is hoped

that this event will provide another opportunity for an appraisal of international wood-firing and woodfired

ceramics. We have no doubt that, as is usual at such international events, Australian wood-firers

will be well represented.



Focus: Wo od-Firing

Wood-firing and the

Australian Identity

Comment by Janet Mansfield

A popular question, asked by journalists and radio interviewers when discussing ceramic art, enquires

into the source of inspiration for artists of a particular country or region . Can you identify the ceramic

art from one country or another, they ask. Is there some specific quality that makes the ceramics from

the UK stand apart from that of the US, for example, and what makes Australian ceramics identifiable

from other regions of the world? It is possible to generalise about world trends and cultural preferences,

of course, be it an emphasis on glaze, on white, on scale, on bold colour, and so on. I have usually

answered that Australian ceramics demonstrate the breadth of influences from everywhere, recognising

that our artists have many different cultural backgrounds and have the freedom to pursue an individual

expression that has meaning for them and the society in which they live. There is no doubt that our

landscape, lifestyle and the pioneering background of our country impacts on our ceramics. When we

consider wood-firing as a specialised stream of ceramic art, some interesting correlations can be seen

between an attitude to work, the 'give it a go' approach, with the more natural and pure results that

wood-fire potters are seeking.

During the past twenty years or so in the practice of ceramics, there has been a significant and

growing interest in the art of wood-firing; sufficient enough to support many exhibitions, conferences

and now this focus from the Journal. Some thirty to forty years ago, pottery captured our imagination

as an artistic activity capable of fulfilling a need to challenge both our physical and intellectual energies.

Wood-firing is perhaps the most significant expression of this challenge. Not only are we completely

driven forward by the results, we are fully engaged in the processes: from digging and preparing the

clay, forming the pots and being totally involved in the firing. What fire can do to change the nature

of clay and the other materials we are using takes intuition, experimentation, physical strength, the

application of our minds and the perseverance and passion to keep trying to make that perfect pot.

Australia's proximity to Asia has been an important source of influence for potters and much has

been written about pilgrimages to Japan and now China where wood-firing has been a major aspect

of Asian ceramic expression. Australian ceramic artists have been inspired by Oriental wood-fired styles

but, nevertheless, are interested in exploiting their local materials in ways that bring out qualities that

are unique. It is recognised that our clays are some of the best in the world and that our land is rich

in minerals that are suitable for pottery making. Eucalyptus wood for firing gives results unlike the

softwoods used in other countries; the soft matt yellow of the melted ash and the flashed purples of the

clay seem to be distinctive attributes in Australian wood-fired works.

It is perhaps the 'anagama mafia' that has been the dominant and more visible stream of wood-firing

around the world, noticeable particularly in wood-fire conferences worldwide. It has been these long

firings, over days, rather than the 'fast fire' emphasis, that has captured the imagination of Australian

wood-firers. There are possibly more than one hundred anagama-style kilns throughout the country

and some firings last anything up to five days or more as potters seek the dense vitrified ring of the

clay body and the lustrous surface of the melted ash . Milton Moon was perhaps the first pioneer of

extended wood-firing in Australia, and Heja Chong, who fired her Bizen-style anagama for nine days,

showed us the full possibilities that long firings could yield. Ivan McMeekin pioneered the Bourry-box


Janet M ansf ield, Trio Vase Forms,

2009, wood-fired, salt-glazed

stoneware, tallest: h.21cm, w.S.5cm

photo: Chris Sanders; Skepsi on

Swanston, March 2010

kilns, noted for their clean yet subtle effects, and many of these French-designed kilns have been built,

evidence of their popularity in Australia.

A recent experience of mine was at a festival of South-East Asian ceramics held in the Philippines.

Hadrian Mendoza and his Philippino colleagues, including Siegrid Bangay, Pablo Capati and Pete Cortes,

are passionate about their kilns and wood-firing possibilities, while the recognised mentor of pottery in

the Philippines, Jon Pettyjohn, who, with his wife Tessy, fires an anagama kiln. Tessy's ceramics are more

architectural and Jon's works demonstrate his ability to make traditional wares such as tea sets, jars and

platters with a contemporary feel that gives pleasure in their use. The influence of China and Chinese

potters in South-East Asia is well documented and can be seen continuing in contemporary ceramics,

but the advance of the anagama brigade is also seen in countries where the cultural backgrounds

are quite discrete, for example in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and South America. Another recent

experience from Cappadocia in Turkey had me crawling inside the firebox of an anagama kiln to look at

the results of the firing .

With the prevalence and growth of the interest, both from the ceramicists and the collectors, in

wood-fired ceramics around the world, through Europe, Asia, the significant waves of activity in North

America and Australia, we come back to the question of identity, both from the point of view as a

country and as individual artists involved in ceramics. Do the materials make a difference, are the

ideas of the potter paramount in the appearance of the finished results, or are we now in a global

world where influences bombard us from everywhere, enabling us to pick and choose what suits our

intentions? It will be important for the future, I believe, to make ceramics than can be identified as

coming from a particular artist; someone who makes work that demonstrates his or her imagination and

style, that reflects not only the skill in using the medium, but the communication possible between artist

and audience. In this way, the identity of both country and its artists will become clear.




Focus: Wood -Firing

OpPosIte: Graeme Wilkie's workshop; photo, artist

Left: Graeme Wilkie, Sogetsu I, Sept 2008

coarse stonewa ,e.hand ~ b uilt. sIx-day anagama fIr 109

photo: courtesy artist

Each year Qdos Arts hosts the annual Sogetsu Ikebana

ExhIbition, now in Its seventh year.

The Source of Things

Notes from Graeme Wilkie

Too often you hear or read concepts concerning 'an aesthetic for wood-firing' and too often come

away dissatisfied. Why7 A great piece of art is beyond category, transcending those mind-made barriers,

Is this a problem pottery/ceramics has created for itself, that crossing of the mystical bridge few potters!

ceramic practitioners brave to cross? And that, while even fewer public dare to see pottery/ceramics as

fine art.

In his A Potter's Book, 1940, Bernard Leach wrote:

" Very few people in this country (UK) think of the making of pottery as an art, "

Little has changed in 70 years.

As the aesthetic debates deepen, the slide has inevitably found its way to 'process' and the rich sense

of fulfillment that the individual gains from this method of hardening clay. That's commonplace. Every

stoker who's ever helped out at a wood-firing, experiences a sense of involvement that few other forms

of firing offer. Further, we find ourselves diving into theories and perceptions of beauty, symmetry versus

asymmetry, chemicals versus ash, east versus west, heaven forbid.

It is now time to take hold of ourselves with clarity of vision and a sense of maturity, and consider

where we think we are in this century of advanced technology. What do we create for wood-fuelled


Focus: Wood-Firing

Far left: Graeme Wilkie

Sogetsu II, 2009, coarse

stoneware, hand-built,

six-day anagama firing

Left: Graeme Wilkie

Sogetsu III, 2009, coarse

stoneware, hand·built,

six-day anagama firing


photos: courtesy artist

firings? And what are we committing to eternity, fixed by such a valuable metamorphosis? The creation

of pottery is too often the result of a need for an outcome (a product) before any question of knowing

or not knowing the nature of beauty or the value of aesthetics. Conditioning commences too soon.

This is more than learning; it's a kind of knowing, found in relentless practice. At a certain age we

begin to understand and strive to undo that conditioning, to regain individual authenticity of thought

and expression and so be able to again create freely and naturally. That striving continues until one can

think and live independently, not overly concerned for the opinions of others. It is not essential that the

artist be an intellectual. Insight and intuition are the drivers (rather than reason and logic), giving birth

to asymmetry and the unpretentious. Introspection, practice and observation enable work that is direct,

honest and convincing. I value work showing the human hand at work. Countless hours of practice

are required to get above the fundamental skill. These skills referred to here are of the abstract and the

esoteric. The truth of beauty is that it offers no choice. To choose is the work of the mind and the ego.

When time has passed, the mark of the maker, the fabrication method, the process of development,

bear little influence on the completed work.

But how does extraordinary work occur?

From the conscious mind, we gain intellect and accumulated knowledge which, if not maintained,

weakens and fades from memory. Dualistically inclined intelligence overrides the mind's inherent nature

to create work that is 'at one with itself.'

So, from where does this mysterious capability come 7

Have you ever 'dropped out of the sky' whilst in the making and asked yourself 'what was that?' or

'where have I been? ' Many of you have, I am sure!

We are now touching on the esoteric, not consciously taught; more like a knowing than a teaching.

We all teach ourselves to be individuals striving for the original, making one's own statement. The

egoistic mind self thrives on this type of dialogue and goes on forever developing all manner of cunning

and appropriated works of 'fine art', of which, in my opinion, the world has far too much.


Focus: Wood-Firing

Once realising this in the making, the flame and kiln are comparative in purpose. The act of making

art using solid fuel burning kilns is not dissimilar - an exploration of the unexplored. Having fired

many wood kilns, one learns of the letting go to the fire - surrendering to the dragon. No amount

of academic learnt knowledge can help you now. It's back to intuitive knowing, getting to know the

unknowable, as the source of things is the maker, the perceiver working in a witnessing position.

Intuitively accessing a state of 'no mind' with direct impulse is creating results in spontaneous

movement, as the recorded response. Thinking cannot give you anything original. It is not in the mind's

nature. Thinking is a kind of barrier. How can you possibly think about the unknown or the original?

Thinking is just the ego choosing the same old things again and again.

If you can void your mind of all intellectualisation you are allowing the possibility for greater creativity.

As well as developing variations on what is known, imagined and seen, all then is passed to the

viewer through reflection and contemplation. It is In the act of creation, in the solitary wee hours of

a firing when the only sound is silence, working in isolation, not waiting for inspiration, but being

inspiration itself, that the artist gives generously of him or herself. You are plumbing the depths and

scaling the heights of reality, and of spirit Within the work, the fire, nothing is stable, everything is

constantly changing. Accidents and the random happenings introduce disharmony and imbalance

requiring flexibility of the artist, the ability to improvise, to be nimble and turn the unexpected to


Soetsu Yanagi wrote in The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty:

"An oriental art lover eyes any and every perfect piece of technique with the suspicion

that i t contains little depth o f meaning."

Words fail the true nature of fine art as a visual language.

© Graeme Wilkie January 2010

Thanks to my greatest teachers: Doug Alexander, potter, and Joan Campbe ll, sculptor.


Technica l: Lu stre

Some Notes on Reduced Lustre

Bob Connery gives an update on his recent work

The technique involves the application of copper, silver and bismuth compounds mixed in a clay paste

on to pots glazed with highly alkaline or lead/alkaline tin glazes. The decorated pots are then fired to red

heat with cycles of heavy smoking reduction then oxidation.

Like most potters working in this field, once I had found clay, glazes, pigments and a firing cycle that

worked, I have made few changes unless forced too. Details of my firing technique for the lustres were

published in Pottery in Australia, 36/1 Autumn 1997, p62-65 and information on glazes, pigments,

making lustre chemicals (plus some information from other lustre potters) were published in Ceramics

Technical. No 7, 1998, pages 9-20.

I will outline some changes and decisions made post -1998.

Update on Pottery in Australia, 36/1, 1997

I still use the same old single burner Port-O-Kiln with the same modifications as illustrated. I am

planning a new kiln solely in order to make larger pots. The wire baffle prevents wood impingement

onto the ware, whilst also acting as a reduction gas diffuser and aiding even heating by radiant heat.

Currently I do the first two reduction cycles with gas only. To activate full gas reduction, close the

primary air on the burner and then close the damper until there is a small wisp of back flame at the

burner port. The first cycle starts when Cone 021 goes down or is well started and now lasts 20

minutes, not 15. The warm-up I have extended to five hours. There are then two further reduction

cycles of 15 minutes each, using wood only (four in all, five very rarely). Starting temperatures for

these firings vary, but I generally stop if Cone 018 falls. Reduction should drop the temperature on

the pyrometer by 60°C and the oxidation cycle should be around ten minutes to regain and increase

temperature. Later cycles may not fall so drastically. Cones, pyrometer and draw trials are all essential

for confident control of a lustre firing. But remember, they can all fool you. Think of them as a total

measurement system .

Haloing and vapour effects are my main aim. These effects are considered faults in traditional

reduced lustreware and are produced at the expense of lustre quality. What I seek is a balance between

reasonable lustre quality and halos. For some designs I seek flame effects as well.

Halos are produced in two ways. First, the vapour from the pigment pastes can form a cloud over

the top and edges of the pigment and resist the action of the reduction gases on the glaze by physical

impediment. Secondly, this vapour may then deposit metallic ions into the glaze outside the edge of the

pigment. In extreme cases there is no lustre left under the pigment, just in the haloed areas. Both types

of haloing require extended firing compared to the production of lustre alone.

Flame effects are the result of uneven reduction at the glaze surface, andlor the vapours that come

off the pigments can be swept across the pot surface. Very slow flame speeds encourage haloing. Very

directional and faster flame speeds encourage flame effects. I usually do the last one or two reductions

with the burner port and damper closed up. I call this a "still air " cycle . The only 'wood' I now use is

cut-up bamboo blinds, which produces a lot of smoke very qUickly. If I want a safer, haloless and more

traditional lustre quality, only three cycles are usually needed and cone 018 is kept up or just starting.

Thermal mass of the kiln and setting are also important. Insufficient setting/ware density can mean

too rapid cooling during the reduction cycles. If need be, add thermal mass in the form of brick pieces

or props.

Update on Ceramics Technical, No 7, 1998

All the information in this article is still current. I still think copper sulphide is superior for all copper


Technical: Lustre

Vase with Indentation, 2007

press-moulded, clay with

reduced lustre (B3) showIng pale

blue haloes on deep red brown

(reduction colour), AW glaze,

h.2&m, w.9cm, d.7cm

photo; linda Cunningham

containing pigments. Next best is copper chloride (yellowish brown powder). The cheapest copper

pigment I use contains a blend of calcined copper sulphate and calcined copper carbonate. I am about

to test copper oxychloride which can be bought cheaply in garden and agricultural stores.

For silver pigments I prefer silver chloride and then silver carbonate for some purposes (a bit less

volatile). Silver nitrate is corrosive and burns your skin and clothes. I am sloppy so I avoid it completely.

I keep Bismuth additions to below 2 %, and usually only 1 %. I find it is a very strong flux.

The Glazes

The two types of glazes I use are in the tables as B 1 G (Amanda Warner or AW) base and B2G

(Eley) base. Both are high alkaline glazes with no lead content. Iron additions above 1 % inhibit lustre

formation. Australian Fritted Glazes by Stan Eley gives a number of variants on B2G glaze. Eley gives

a range of Cone 04 to 02 but I have successfully fired them up to Cone 5. Cone 2-3 is probably better.

The Petalite content in the original can be replaced with Potash Feldspar plus other Lithium sources.


Above: Korean-style Tea Bowl. 2007, thrown clay, reduced lustre (No, 8) on black AW glaze, fired In a hotspot to produce

extreme flame effects, haloing and glaze colour changes, h.9cm, w.1Scrn, d.15cm; photo: artist

Below: Large Shallow Bowl, 2008, thrown clay, reduced lustre (B1) on 0,25% chrome Eley glaze, h,lOcm, w,4Ocm, dAOcm

photo: Jimmy Malecki

I use Spodumene and Feldspar, which raise the firing

temperature a little. Lithium Carbonate is a strong flux. Use


I use the B 1 G (AWl base for the bulk of my production.

Both these glaze types bubble easily and I still struggle with

them, These glazes are best fired in an electric kiln and any

workshop students who use one have less trouble than I

do, I have been testing pots bisque fired to cone 11 with

my redudion stoneware produdion, then glazing them at

low cones and lustre firing. Results have been very good

and I am about to do a whole bisque firing to cone 8 and

then do a lustre series of about 100 pots. I will report on

this and the copper oxychloride on www.australianceramics.com at a later date.

Some people have fired B1 G (AW) base with an addition of 5% Kaolin up to Cone 10. Ellen Terrell in

Daintree is using them at Cone 8 and together we've successfully lustred some of them.

My draw trials glaze is the B1 G base with 3.5% tin oxide instead of 2.5%. I use three pigments on

each trial - B 1, B3 and a silver-copper blend,

Note: Jeff Zamek has published the definitive article on glaze bubbles in Ceramics Technical, No 27,



Technical: Lustre

Press-Moulded Vase with Curled Lugs, 2008,

clay with reduced luwe (63) on 2% AW copper

glaze, h.32cm, w. lOcm, d.8cm; photo: artist

Clay Bodies

Suitable clay bodies remain an ongoing problem for many reasons. Probably the most comfortable

firing range for these glazes I use is around Cone 3. The best bodies for this are fine earthernware, or

terracotta w ith sli ps. I am pinning my hopes on the new high bisque regime with PB 1 03. At cone 4/5

Walkers Mid-Fire works very well and as I soak for 2-3 hours at about Cone 3, this has produced good

results for teapots, beakers etc. I no longer use a special fitted glaze inside these wares as I don't like

the change of surface and colour; plus I ran into internal/external glaze fit problems, particularly with


I keep all the bubbled, glazed pots until the end of a run when I refire them w ith one or two sprayed

coats of the glaze set up to a near gel with CMe. In fact, I now glaze all pots by dipping, fettling and

then spraying with two coats of CMC set-up glaze.

Kilns need to be well ventilated, preferably outdoors. In my experience, reduced lustre requires levels

of reduction beyond those usually used, off the scale on an oxygen probe.

Enjoy yourself and contact me if you have any queries, problems or if you cannot obtain the articles


E: info@stokerspottery.com.au, www.stokerspottery.com.au

Stokers Siding Pottery, 224 Stokers Road, Stokers Siding NSW 2484

A more detailed version of this article is now available online: www.austra lianceramics.com



Technical : Lustre

Chasing the Rainbow

Jonathan Chiswell Jones on working with clay paste lustre

Pheasant Charger, 2009, copper and

cobalt ground, silver lustre details on

bird. copper lustre background to bird,

diam.38cm; photo: Kerry Bosworth

The phrase 'chasing the rainbow', expresses both the beauty and the elusive nature of working with

reduction-fired lustre. We seek what is half seen, ill defined and vaguely imagined, hoping only that fire,

clay, si lver, copper, and experience born of many mistakes, will combine to create a pot which resonates

for us.

Here are some precepts:

1. Trust your taste - for when you begin the adventure of making lustreware, the kiln will present you

with a variety of unprepossessing results . Among them you will find at least one more attractive than

the rest. Hang onto that. It marks the way ahead. No matter what anyone else thinks, follow your taste.

2. Difficulties are predictable - and you will probably have to overcome them alone. There will be

times when you are baffled. Your resolve will be tested. Are you serious, or just playing?

3. Study the work of others - the lustre potters of Egypt, Iraq and Iran, the vases of the Alhambra,

the work of William de Morgan of Royal Lancaster. Look always for what you find beautiful. Put yourself

under that influence. Do not strive to be different; strive to be good. Don't be afraid to copy. To copy a

piece of lustreware successfully is to pay a generous compliment.


Technical: Lustre

Dodo Lustre Plate, 2009, sIlver and copper lustre on a copper and cobalt ground with clear glaze over, diam.3Ocm

photo; Kerry Bosworth

Here is the method I use:

We throw with porcelain because we are familiar with it. We then spray the dry pot with various oxides

to give a base colour before biscuiting to 126S 0 C (Orton cone 9). The pots are then dipped in clear

'earthenware' glaze, which has to be thick enough to adhere. It helps if the pot is warm and the glaze

is thickened with a little calcium chloride. Weigh the glaze first (adding water makes it lighter), because

th ickness is critical - too thick and it crazes, too thin and it is unpleasant to touch. After fettling, we re-fire

to cone as.

Now the brush decoration - I add water to my lustre pigments, which are left like caked mud in labelled

saucers from the last decorating session. I assemble great numbers of brushes, a generous container of

water for washing brushes at the end of each day's work, a box of large tissues and plenty of cotton buds.

Also handy is some gum arabic, a variety of round and chisel-ended bits of wood and some fine glass paper

to keep their profiles true. Bamboo is good because it doesn't wear too easily.

The thickness of the clay paste is important. Generally speaking, it should be applied thinner than you

might think - like single cream . Gum helps pigments, which contain a lot of clay, to flow. A few drops

render a glutinous clay paste brushable. Painting on a glazed surface with mud may seem an impossible

task at first, but it comes with practice. Handle the pots as little as possible before decorating. Clay paste

is water-based, and fingerprints on the pot can repel a design when you are half way to finishing it. It is


Technical: Lustre

Tortoise and Hare

Charger, 2008, silver

lustre and Sliver and

copper mixed. on a

copper cobalt ground,


photo: Kerry Bosworth

wise to clean the pot before decorating. I find a good scrubbing, using a sponge with clean water, and

careful drying before you start, suffices. When the clay paste is dry, you can scratch through the brush

strokes to add detail to your design . This leaves a residue of lustre dust on the pot, which, even if blown

away, leaves a finer layer that's not unattractive after firing. Do not touch this layer because a fingerprint

will lift it off and be clearly visible after firing. It is possible to make small corrections and alterations to

your design, but every mark, including those you think cannot be seen, has a way of showing up, so

beware. Cotton buds or tissues can gather up runs and mistakes, but it is often better to wipe off the

entire design, wash the pot and start again . Keep the paste you have washed off, that way nothing is

wasted but a little time. Keep all your brush washings. I have found, oddly enough, that the best lustre

pigment I have is the washings from hours of decorating - an unanalysable mixture of everything I've

used. I label them by the year, so I am now using what might be called the soup of the soup, though I

do use other lustres mixed to known recipes to keep the whole brew lively. I have tried to guess at the

composition of my washings and make up a recipe, but with no success.

Now the firing - I have a gas kiln with two forced-draught gas burners. We raise the temperature to

674°C and soak till cone 019 is down. I then turn off the air to the burners and turn up the propane

gas. Quite why we haven't blown ourselves up using this procedure I am not sure, but having followed

it for 80 firings, I now regard it as safe. This spasm of reduction is continued for five minutes, during

which time the temperature falls, about 30°C in our case. Then I turn down the gas and turn up the air

to produce a clean flame till the temperature has risen to 674°C again. While the temperature climbs,

I take out a test ring and wipe off the clay paste to see how th ings are progressing. Exactly the same

procedure is followed until I judge we have done enough and the burners are turned off. We currently


Technical: Lustre

Four Rabbits Vase , 2008,

rabbIts In sIlver lustre. copper

and cobalt ground, h 2Scm

photo: Kerry Bosworth

do three five-minute spasms followed by a shorter one - about 17 V, minutes reduction in total. The

whole reduction procedure takes about 45 minutes. The first ring will usually show a pale yellow stain

with silver pigments, and subsequent rings show a pale gold then darker gold or brown as the process is

continued. Copper pigments vary from pale pink to nail polish crimson.

Here are the variables we are dealing with, in order of importance:

1. Kiln firing schedule

2. Glaze composition

3. Clay and underglaze colour

4. Composition of lustre pigments

5. Position in kiln

They all interact, so separating them can be difficult, but there is no point in doing detailed work on,

let's say, the pigments, if you are still experimenting with the way you fire.

There are a thousand other things to tell you, but if you are serious, you will discover them for


Welcome to the world of dreams made real!

Jonathan Chiswell Jones, December 2009



Technica l: Lustre

See My Scales Where My Feathers Used To Be, 2009, Southern Ice porcelain, clear glaze, lustre,

gold, ",nd etched, enamel, h.1 Ocm, w.l O.Scm, d.8.5cm; photo· Johanna DeMaine

Working with Resinate lustres

Johanna DeMa ine shares her extensive knowledge on this special material

In his seminal volume, Ceramic Colours and Pottery Decoration, Kenneth Shaw postulates that

lustres are extremely th in films of metals deposited on the surface of ware in the same way as 'noble'

metals, and that the lustre effect is due to the interference of incidental and reflected light. He further

states that lust res are made up of solutions and suspensions of metallic resinates in solutions of

polymers and thickening agents to aid application by brush and machine. The colours are due to metallic

oxide films bonded onto the glazed surface by bismuth oxide, which must be fired to a low temperature

otherwise the flux would burn out.

This is the world of lustre that I work w ithin. This is the same lustre film as produced by 'Reduced

Lustre' or 'Arabian Lustre' . The main difference is the method of application and firing technique

employed. Whereas reduced lustres are either clay paste or water-based and fired in a reducing

atmosphere, resinate lustres are oil/resin-based and fired in an oxidising atmosphere. The localised

reduction is performed by the carbon produced from the resin base (usually pine oil). Resinate lustres

are a product of the ceramic industry as application and controlled firings were standardised for mass

production. Resinate lustres are also known as 'Oxidation' or 'Commercial Lustres'. This th in film of

metal then dictates the way in which I work.


Technica l: Lu stre


Lustre takes on the surface qualities of the w are that it is applied to. Surfaces w ith gloss glazes will

be shiny, matt glazes will be satin matt, vitrified bisque will be very matt. As the lustre bonds at the

softening temperatures of the substrata, there is a wide firing range to encompass glass, earthenware,

bone china, stoneware, hard and soft porcelain (this refers to the glaze types used). Using a medium to

hard glaze on my porcelain I fire to 810°C. Some hard glazed porcelains successfully fire at 850°C.

Lustre is oil-based so that it will adhere to a glossy surface, w hich must be scrupulously clean . Any

grease, sweat and oils from the skin, or lint and dust will repel the adhesion of the lustre. There are two

methods I use for cleaning the surface of the ware. I mainly use methylated spirits but there are certain

brands which will actually leave a film on the glaze and repel the lustre. If this happens, I either put the

ware through the dishwasher (I use white vinegar as my rinse aid) or use detergent and very hot water

until the water sheets off the pot. The ware is then dried with a lint free cloth and I have no further skin

contact with the pot. I use cotton gloves or a towel to put the pot onto my decorating easel (see The

Journal of Australian Ceramics, 4812, page 55).


When applied, all lustres appear a treacly brown with their colour being achieved in the firing process.

So I can visualise what I am doing while working, I have made permanent colour charts for each glaze

that I use. This is a test tile with lustre brushstrokes (labelled), fired and then repeated on the tile turned

90 degrees and fired again . This provides me with a read out of one and two layers of lustre, plus many

variations of colours when lustre is applied over lustre.

Lustres can be applied by brush, sponge and stamping. Some people advocate airbrushing; however

this is something I would never contemplate, as lustres are based on organic solvents. I use German

squirrel-hair flat shaders, mainly size 10 (the old 3/8 " size). As my technique employs broad areas of

lust re, I lay down the lustre in long quick strokes taking care not to overlap drying areas as these would

be more intense in colour. If I wanted a very even surface, I would lightly pad or pounce the brushedon

lustre with a small sponge or cotton ball w rapped in a square of silk held tight with a rubber band.

This will even out the brush strokes but will also

lighten the lustre conSiderably as you are pulling off

excess lustre. If I get lustre on my skin I immediately

Test Tile

remove it with meths as I am conscious of the fact

that the skin is the largest organ of the body and

absorbs toxins very efficiently. I use multiple layers

of lustre, firing between each layer.

Keep lustre brushes only for lustre, as other

mediums contaminate the brushes. To clean them,

part fill two small glass jars with lustre essence

(I prefer citrus solvent), and one jar with methylated

spirits. Swish brush in the first bottle of lustre

essence, blot on tissue, then swish in the second

bottle of lustre essence and blot again, then

swish in the meths bottle and blot. Finally, work

Morning Fresh detergent into the bristles and rinse

exceedingly well under warm running water. Blot on

tissue and dry flat.


Technical: lustre

4 5


10 11



Plate has been fired with one coat of

Mother of Pear!

2 Outline drawn with water-based

OHP pen

3 Drawn with black lustre resIst using


4 lustre applied as follows: mountains

purple, fields yellow, water light blue

S FIred plate, resist removed

6 ReSIst reapplied everywhere except

the water area; another layer of

lustre applied

7 Second firing, resist left on

8 Resist patterning applied to

mountains and fields; mountains

coated with gold, fields wIth

CInnamon; gold penwork over water

9 Third firing; resist removed with Jift

10 Detail of patterned layers

11 Tools used: 3/8 inch and Vt inch

sqUirrel hair flat shaders; tJantmg for

resist; gold pen for penwork


Techn ical: Lustre


At present I am exploring two processes - resist and etching, This focus will be on the resist technique

which I use so as to limit my exposure to lustre; 90% of my time with lustre is spent in applying inert

resist and only 10% in actually applying the lustre,

Most resists, apart from waxes, will work as lustre resist Latex, white poster paint, adhesive tapes,

masking lacquers, stickers, white-out pens, and proprietary lustre resists can all be used, I prefer to use

Fay Good's black lustre resist as this resist can survive several firings without having to be cleaned off

and reapplied - essential for the way I work, The attached storyboard illustrates my method,

I sketch my drawing onto the glazed surface with a non permanent black OHP pen, I then go over

this, adding detail with a tjanting filled with the black lustre resist that I have adjusted to flow through

the tip, When the resist is dry I apply an even layer of lustre in the areas required, just the same as for

any other painting technique, I then fire to 810°C in approximately five hours, I don't subscribe to the

fast firing of china painters as I believe that all processes such as glaze softening takes time, not just

temperature, Also, this way I never lose any pots due to cracking,

After the first firing I continue adding layers of lustre to deepen the colour, firing between each layer.

As well, I add further resist to help the layering effect that I am after. After the final lustre layering, I

will either add pen work with a gold pen or use raised enamel for accent I remove the resist by gently

cleaning the surface with Jiff, Do not use Ajax or any other abrasive cleaner as it will scratch the


Health and Safety

When working with lustres I take the issue of OH&S very seriously, Please read this article in

conjunction with 'Health and Safety and Overglaze', The Journal of Australian Ceramics, 45/3,

page 91-94, This article is also available on my website, http://overglaze.info

Recommended Reading

Lustre for China Painters and Potters, Heather Taylor, 1990, Kangaroo Press

China Paint and Overglaze, Paul Lewing, 2007, The American Ceramic Society,

Ceramic Colours and Pottery Decoration, Kenneth Shaw, 1969, Frederick A Praeger,lnc

Resist and Masking Techniques, Peter Beard, 1996, A&C Black/Craftsman House

'Health and Safety and Overglaze', Johanna DeMaine, 2006,

The Journal of Australian Ceramics, pp91 -94, Vol 45/3

Johanna DeMaine

T: +61 (0)7 5494 1458

E: johanna@demaine.org

http:/ /johanna,demaine.org



Pro moti on


Greg Daly returns to his love and passion for lustre. During the last 14 years he has explored and

developed a palette of rich surfaces utilising the glaze-on-glaze technique and adding lustrous gold and

silver leaf to the surface. Angles of Light presents this technique which will be shown alongside new

lustre work, which he has revisited.

Greg began exploring lustre as a student in the mid 70's, developing a resinate lustre. He then went

on to develop lustre glazes and pigment lustres which he used until the late 90's. His new lustre work

encompasses a technique called lustre glaze, where copper, silver and bismuth are mixed with the glaze,

resulting in a rainbow of colours and light on the surface.

Lustre is created by developing a very thin layer of metal on top of the glaze where light reflects light

breaking it into a myriad of colours. The underlying colour is ail-important for the final surface result.

The viewer only has to move a centimetre or two and the surface flares into colour or is subdued.

Intensity of light, natural or artificial and the viewing angle all contribute to the viewing experience.

This exhibition is the result of Greg's recent writing of a new book on lustre techniques. He has since

realised how much he had missed lustre in his practice. This has resulted in a new, fresh body of work

cailed Angles of Light that shows the intimate relationship lustre has with light.

Left to right: lustre glazes, Copper lustre glazed bowl form, 2010, and studio window landscape


sabbia gallery

14 April - IS May 2010. GATHER. National Art School and Ausglass Awards exhibition including

the work of ceramic artists Jacqui Hudson and Sarah Keenan-Jones

30 June - 24 July 2010. WINTER. An exhibition of ceramics and glass that explores this beautiful season

8 September - 2 October 2010. ENDANGE RED - A solo exhibition by Julie Bartholomew - Gallery Two.

17 November -11 December 2010. Les Blakebrough solo exhibition

www.sabbiagallery.com . 120 GLEN MORE ROAD, PADDINGTON NSW 2021 AUSTRALIA

P 61 2 9361 6448 . E gallery@sabbiagallery.com . Tuesday - Friday 11am - 6pm, Saturday 11am - 4pm

Above: Full Bellied Vase, 2010, silver lustre based glaze fumed, h.23cm


Concerto for Clay and Painting

Kevin Murray reviews Kevin Chin's recent exhibition, Hearth

The more self-forgetful the

listener is, the more deeply is

what he listens to impressed upon

his memory The traces of the

storyteller cling to the story the

way the handprints of the potter

cling to the clay vessel,

Walter Benjamin, 'The Storyteller',

in Illuminations (trans. H. Zohn);

London: Fontana, 1973 (orig. 1936),

p. 91

Tiled, 2009, Southern Ice porcelain, steel and fluorescent lights on gallery

floorboards, h. 10cm, w.48Ocm, d.90cm; photo: courtesy artist

Kevin Chin is not a ceramicist. He

is an artist who works with ceramics,

among other materials.

Chin trained at the Victorian

College of the Arts (VCA), whose

ceramics workshops were abandoned

earlier this century. While largely

unattended by technical staff, their

presence still lingers. About six years

ago, another student strayed into

the empty workshop and started to

create her own punk style ceramics.

Zoe Churchill has gone on to become

what is probably Australia's first clay

dramaturge, including great ceramic

performances in the indigenous

Melbourne Festival production

Ngapatji Ngapatji.

Now Chin, a recent graduate who

also strayed into the workshops of the

VCA, has taken clay into a different

dimension. Chin developed quite a talent in painting. His convincing and poignant canvases would be

enough to constitute his artistic oeuvre, but something has drawn him to the more tactile medium of

clay. It's a strange choice. Clay is messy, wet, difficult to give permanence, and hard to colour. But for

Chin, clay seems to provide a more primordial experience: it connects us back to layers of memory that

precede the visual.

Hearth, the November 2009 exhibition at Linden Gallery, was his latest in a series of strong

exhibitions that have combined the visual image with a tactile medium. A Hole in the Roof (TCB

Gallery, September 2008) fea tured a pile of ceramic leaves, whose brittle material provided a visual

analogue to the rustle under foot. In Ruined (in Kings ARI, June 2009), it was multi-coloured doilies

crocheted by his mother.

For Hearth, Chin located his work in the rear gallery of Linden Centre for Contemporary Art. While a



Kevin Chin, Logged (detail), 2009, oil pnmer on sealed canvas, h.21 Oem, w.l00cm; photo: (ourtesy artist

very successful space in 5t Kilda, linden has always struggled with its failure to provide a white cube for

the display of work. The white cube offers a modernist canvas which erases traces of previous activity,

enabling the artist to leap forward into the new. By contrast, the room that Chin operated in reeked of

the past. The fireplace, window and floor boards spoke of another era.

Rather than work against this, Chin drew our attention to its nature as 'hearth', a centre of domestic

gravity. He piled ash in the fireplace. He created Logged, a canvas painted with oil primer, whose subtle

log shapes were only visible when light streamed through the window. And on the floor were cast

floorboards, lit from below to highlight their contoured surface.

Chin's exhibition worked against the modern gaze, so accustomed to spectacle, and so quick to

render reality in a snapshot. He was not there to provide a surface image of the world, but to offer

instead an int imation of its material depths. As such, he discovered a dimension that can speak to us of

the lost past as well. We know that the world has spatial and temporal dimensions beyond which we

are able to experience in the here and now.

Kevin Chin,

Swept to the

Side, 2008


h.35cm, w.335cm


photo: courtesy




Kevin Chin, Cindered, 2009,

cinders in gallery fireplace,

hAOcm, w.60cm, d.3Ocm

photo: courtesy artist

But Chin is not a ceramicist. He has largely taught himself all he knows about clay. He casts by

absorbing slip in combustible materials that are burnt off in the firing. He carves into terracotta. There

are no glazes, no wheel throwing or hand-building. The attraction of clay for Chin is its "clunky nature"

- the very fact that it cannot be controlled, certainly by someone without training.

Clay is one of his materials. It seems another world to his wistful canvases. A painting such as

Woollens (2008) invites us into another world, beyond our immediate reality. But the clay and canvas

do complement each other. The attitude of his painting primes us to think deeply about the ceramics as

remnants of the past.

In this sense, Chin operates like a conductor. Painting is his piano, clear and precise, telling the story.

Clay is his cello, working under the melody and touching something deeper. These installations are like

concertos that intervveave the tangible and ethereal.

So what does this add to ceramics? In some ways, not much. Chin's ceramic work hardly contributes

to the evolution of the field as a technical endeavour. It says little about the skilled forms of expression

that render a world of emotion and texture in clay form. It cannot stand by itself.

But in other ways, it offers a new path into the world. Used by Chin as one material language

among others, it may be an intimation of how clay art will evolve today. Ceramic workshops are being

repositioned in universities to reduced specialist teaching and offer the clay experience to eclectic

installation artists. There are likely to be fewer specialists and more hybridists like Chin, who pick and

choose their medium as they feel.

This may well open a new chapter for clay. Positively, there is potential to renew the power of clay by

its partnership with other media. This presses the modernist point about the unique language of clay

- what it can do that is not already being done by painting or sculpture. And it may open the door for

partnerships between those who call themselves genuine ceramicists and artists of other media.

I hope that Kevin Chin continues to play his cello .

Kevin Murray is an independent writer and curator, Adjunct Professor at RMIT University.

contributor to craftunbound.net and online editor of Journal of Modern Craft



Inside My Studio

In Conversation with

Judy Boydell

Vicki Grima: When did you first use clay and what did you make?

Judy BoydeU: My first serious encounter with clay was in the early seventies when I wanted to find out

the difference between earthenware and stoneware pots, but of course I was seduced by the clay, like

so many of us. I made a set of six pinched cups - very primitive - I still have three.

VG: Where is your current studio?

JB: My studio is a derelict semi at Erskineville, inner city Sydney. It is right next door to my home.

VG: Do you work alone or with others?

JB: I work alone in my studio throwing and hand-building but I wood-fire with Janet Mansfield at

Gulgong and with Barbara Campbell-Allen at North Richmond.

VG: How long have you been working in your cu rren t studio?

JB: I have been in this studio for over twenty years and there are still things I would like to change. Time

is always short for major overhauls.


VG: What are the essential features a studio

of yours has to have)

JB: I have a faithful wheel and functional

table, good light and a marvellous fireplace

for the cold winter nights.

VG: Describe your work pattern - hours/days/

week etc.

JB: Th is is usually dictated by either Janet or

Barbara asking me to be involved in the next

firing. I make work from perhaps ten till ten,

for five or six days a week for as long as I

possibly can beforehand.

VG: Describe the work you make in your


JB: Mostly functional, with a rugged quality

which I hope reta ins the fluidity of wet clay

after firing.

VG: What is the most satisfying part of your


JB: I love seeing all the work ready before I

pack it up to transport it to the kil n. I feel so


VG: Why is clay your chosen medium?

JB: I think it chose me as I came upon it by


VG: Type of clay?

JB: I use stoneware clay as it is the most

suitable for long firi ng in a wood-fuelled kil n.

VG : Type of glaze?

JB: Of course ash and shino glazes and kuan and celadon . I raw-glaze.

VG: List 3 favourite things that you listen to while working.

JB: Without a doubt either Radio National or ABC Classical - I love my ABC I

VG: What do you do with your seconds)

JB: Give, use myself or leave around the grounds, or in the garden. Frogs use them for their spawn .


Inside My Studio

Four Beakers, 2009, ash glaze inside, salt glaze outside. wood-fired, h.9cm; photo: Rick Monk

VG : What other jobs, paid or unpaid, fit around your ceramic practice?

J8: One of my extra activities is being on the team for the triennial Clay event at Gulgong, NSW. Janet

Mansfield does a tremendous job and has so many overseas connections that it is always fun to be


VG : What is the dreaded job that never gets done?

J8: It does get done but it is a killer. In a wood-firing

kiln there is always the DOOR to be closed after the

loading. Bricks have a mind of their own. So, this is

why the trolley kiln is a popular choice.

VG: Which single piece of ceramics would you most

like to own?

J8: A piece by Shiro Tsujimura .

VG : What would you do if you won the lottery?

J8: It would be fun to have a small house somewhere

in France, perhaps Paris and be able to travel there on

a regular basis.

VG : Exhibitions/workshops coming up?

J8: Clay Energy, Gulgong

E: judyboydell@tpg.com,au Barbara Campbell-Allen's anagama at North

Richmond; photo: Judy Boydell



Iron bark, The Wizard of Oz

and lessons learnt Down


Kansas potter Derek Larsen pays tribute to the Aussie wood-firers he met during

studies at Southern Cross University

Kansas is located in the heartland of America. It is famous for cowboys, sunflowers, and an old movie,

The Wizard of Oz, and I constructed the state's first anagama.

The weather is always a challenge in Kansas. Once I had a firing that was dramatically affeded by the

barometric pressure changes from nearby tornados - as a wood-firing artist one is deeply conneded

to one's geographical location. Local clay and glaze materials, firewood, and even climate are all

considerable fadors in the creation of one's work.

Following years of regularly successful firings, and following the completion of my first degree, I

decided to pursue graduate research in Australia. Under the guidance of Tony Nankervis, I soon found

myself in Lismore, settling into my new role and studio. However, in the glaze lab, the materials' names

(eckalite, hallum, puggoon, ceram) were as alien as my new surroundings and as frightening as the local

gigantic insects. I was definitely not in Kansas anymore; this was Oz, and I had a lot to learn.

Obviously, the primary material in wood-firing is wood. The hardwoods of Australia are unlike

anything I had ever stoked. Previously I had fired with black walnut that was donated waste from a

rifle-butt manufacturing plant. The ash produced excellent green to caramel to yellow natural glaze,

depending on clays and temperature.

In Lismore, the primary fuel was ironbark, a fitting name for the heaviest, hardest wood I have ever

encountered in my life. The wood was so dense that even the chain saws struggled. Iron bark was

readily available in large quantities and burned very hot, but produced little to no ash. I was surprised

after my first 3-day firing that few pieces possessed the flowing, dripping natural glaze that I previously

desired to surface my work. The ash of ironbark was so heavy that it failed to become airborne on the

current of the kiln flame. The few pieces packed in the firebox, in contact with the coal bed and ash

itself, displayed an ash glaze comparable to tenmoku glaze. Ironbark seemed to produce iron ash. I soon

realised the motivation for innovative glaze development and research at this specific location, and set

out to develop glaze mixtures that could provide rich surface depth and colour development dependant

on flash not ash.

Since successful vessel-making requires a marriage of form and surface, myoid hand would not suit

this approach to wood-firing. My stylised rough lines and marks designed to catch the drips of ash glaze

now contradided the flames decorative vapour. I had to reconsider form and create shapes that would

allow the vapour and flame itself to surface the work. This approach has led to an aesthetic shift and a

reduction of form-vessel minimalism.

Chemical analysis, some simple tests and reference books soon cleared up my material confusion

and I tested tile after tile of new and often unattractive experiments. Over the course of the year we

had completed more than ten anagama firings, and I was in pursuit of new formulations. Using Tony

Nankervis' research as a springboard, I explored the use of bone ash as a surface enhancer in dry to

matte Shino-type glazes. The high alumina, high soda eutectic provided interesting fire colour but I was

interested in a more textural surface with the possibilities of a range of colours between the standard

red/orange responses. The incorporation of bone ash yielded pink to purple fire colour response, with


Educati on

crawling type textures that proved interesting

and became the subject of a multitude of Ian

Currie-type grid tests.

When thinking of my Lismore environment,

it is impossible not to mention the intellectual

surroundings provided by my firing team and

the people I met and worked alongside. Woodfiring

in an academic setting can be problematic

as unity, goals and motivation must be shared

amongst a crew of creative personalities.

In the Lismore crew I met some of the most

talented, knowledgeable and friendly potters

I have ever had the pleasure to stoke with. In

addition, Tony was a continual motivator, a role

model and an insightful voice of wood-firing

wisdom. With every visiting artist, I was met with

honest sincerity and an invitation to visit and fire.

It became apparent that a wood-fire community

existed in Australia that is unparalleled in the

world. The leaders of this community were

especially keen on fostering the next generation

of artists and were extremely supportive.

More than any other art form, wood-firing

artists rely on the natural world. This relationship

is specific to our craft and is influential in our

aesthetic and conceptual pursuits. A geographic

shift presents one with limitless challenges and

new arenas for experimentation. Adapting

to new environments is rewarding and now

something I seek out. Now working in Aichi,

Japan, I am further challenged in an environment

that is very traditional and .. Japanese.

Armed with some experience, a good temper

and a fondness for swapping stories over a night

of delicious Victoria Bitter draught, my research

and life in Lismore was a productive time of

friendship and ceramic discovery. There may be

no place like home, but there are many days I

wish I were still in OZ.

Anagama-flred shino bowl, Lismore

Anagama-fired vase, USA

Anagama-fired jar, Lismore

photos: courtesy artist

Derek larsen, www.dereklarsenceramics.com


Ceramic Spaces

Zen and the Art of the


Bruce McWhinney relishes his recent experience in Bali

In October 2009 ceramic artists from Taiwan, USA, Afghanistan, Italy, England, Australia and Indonesia

arrived in Ubud, Bali to build Indonesia's first anagama kiln. What began as a fortuitous exchange

of mail became an intense collaboration in a tropical paradise. Combine a rich, volcanic, lush green

landscape, traditional architecture, a strong and vibrant culture of dance, music and art with a people

linked to the earth through religious ceremonies, mixed with artists from different corners of the globe

having a mutual love of clay, kilns and firing, and the scene is set for an incredible experience.

My own interest in Japanese wood-fired kilns and love of traditional culture projected me like

a magnet towards Bali and another ceramic adventure with the mysteries of fire and earth. The

spontaneous decision to go to Bali seems now to have paralleled the wood-firing ethos. What is it

about wood-firing that holds us under a spell? If anything, apart from the challenge and the joy of

sharing an exhilarating experience with like-minded people, it's the thrill of not actually knowing what

will happen: the unexplained magic that comes as a gift from nature . Certainly. to go, I needed to be

open and flexible as to what might occur and be prepared to chart unknown waters and be ready to be

challenged by the elements and the unexpected. As it turned out, it was a pretty safe intuitive decision

grounded in the good will and enthusiasm of wood-firing ceramic artists worldwide.

Although not a cool climate, Ubud's higher altitude makes it more conducive to firing kilns than the

rest of Bali, and Ubud's location as the artistic centre where painters, woodcarvers, textile artists and

basketry makers thrive, makes it an ideal place to develop a ceramics art centre. Gaya Ceramic and

Design Centre has grown out of this rich environment. Now employing around forty Balinese artisans to

produce a range of tableware and architectural commissions, Gaya has recently branched out further to

offer specialist workshops and two-month residencies.

Under the directorship of Marcello and Michela Massoni, Hillary Kane and Chungho Cheng from

Taiwan, the building and firing of the kiln, as well as the making of work for the firing, took place in

a short and strenuous three-week period. The team also included Ginto Naujokas from New Mexico,

Brad Ponack, currently living in Afghanistan, and Simon Platt from England, now resident in Jakarta, and

myself. The diversity and combined experience of this team was stimulating and provided many topics

for discussion while moving and laying bricks or stoking the fire - living in Kabul in the centre of a war

zone; firing anagama kilns in the desert of New Mexico; workshops, kilns residencies and travelling

in Japan; Taiwanese ceramics; the wonders of living in a tropical idyll; and Australian, American and

Japanese wood-firing similarities and differences.

But what interested and intrigued me most about this project was the design and construction

methods employed - no metal bracing, concrete foundations or modern materials were used. The arch

former was made from split bamboo and the whole process was organic and free flowing. As Cheng

described it, the whole kiln would not be restricted by anything, and would move and breathe as it

undervvent the expansion and contractions of heating and cooling. Trad itional Balinese craftsmanship

with bamboo and wood became an important ingredient to the success of the project.


Ceramic Spaces

1 Hillary Kane and Chungho Cheng setting out the flremouth foundation

2 Ember Pit and front chamber wall construction by Made Bracuk and Chungho Cheng

3 Chungho Cheng uSing the tamper to compress 8all black sand for the floor

4 The Gaya artIsans receivmg a briefing on the BalJgama

5 Hillary Kane and Chungho Cheng constructing bamboo former for arch

6 Chungho Cheng and arch former for the fire door


Ceramic Spaces

1 Brad Ponack, Hillary Kane and Chungho

Cheng loading the anagama

2 Ex·coffee plantantion wood as fuel

3 Brad Ponack and Bruce McWhinney

loading salt chamber

4 Hillary Kane packi ng for the first firing

Cheng's philosophy and his approach to kiln-building were inspiring and challenging for some

of us with western building experience who were used to employing practical means and precise

measurements to achieve a goal.

The re-creation of an anagama kiln using ancient methods, while being in harmony with the local

culture, was like experiencing a living and evolving tradition. Exploring the fusion of Japanese and

Balinese cultures provided a new insight into the primal spiritual motivations and meaning to life and

work. In both cultures, the meshing of handworking skills, attention to detail and spiritual intent and

content are highly evident.

Alex Kerr, in his book Lost Japan, suggests the origins of the Japanese Yamato race as coming from

across the seas from South East Asia. They were a seafaring race with strong legs and a look in the eye

like a gaze into the distant horizon. Bali, with its mystic rituals and endless Hindu ceremonies and rites

and their connections to the pagan Shinto ceremonies of Japan, seemed to affirm that supposition.

The closeness and reverence for nature and natural materials in both cultures certainly points in that

direction; although, in comparison, the Japanese sensibility seems to have mutated from its earthy

origins to an Asian hybrid, showing the influences of India, China and Korea. The beauty, grace and

warmth of the Balinese people are a likely match for the integrity and honesty of the Japanese. These

were the thoughts that provided mental stimulation every day, while the hard work, great food,

weather, swimming and Jazz cafe at night provided the physical.


Ce ramic Spaces

1 A local village woman preparing offerings for the safe construction and use of the kiln

2 First draft - kiln and smoke

3 Hillary Kane giving It stick

Reminders of this fusion of cultures were always present - like the tampers made by our Balinese

assistant, Made Bracuk. Used to compress the ground before laying foundations, these wooden objeds

were immediately familiar, like Japanese water buckets. The ubiquitous use of bamboo for construction,

the rice fields and the thatched roofs contrived to stimulate the senses and confuse my geographical

sense of place. In Bali, the rustic charm and use of natural materials (that have been the signature of old

Japan to so many western minds) remains a living tradition, with cafes, restaurants and villas extensively

employing these materials.

In the produdion work of Gaya, I also found similar fusions. The ceramic baskets, oribe glaze, rice

husk decoration and matting impressions were just a few things that blended the BalineselJapanese

influence. The Mingei philosophy of folk craft and the handmade have found a joyous home in the

tolerant, laid back and bountiful scene that is Ubud, Bali .

Notes on Construdion Methods

To make the foundation, the kiln shape was mapped out on a levelled ground. This shape was dug

out slightly and compressed . Loca l black sand and crushed shards were placed and then tamped. A layer

of mortar, using clay from Kalimantan in Borneo, was mixed and poured into the shallow trench.

After hardening slightly, the first layer of bricks was placed with little attention to levelling, apart from

a central string line. As the brick courses grew, levels were adjusted by eye. The first ten courses or so

were laid as headers, but using fired shards to angle each layer above. The freedom of this approach

was liberating.


Ceramic Spaces

1 Kiln Blessing Day; left to right: Ginto Nauj okas, Hillary

Ka ne and Chungho Cheng

2 Bruce McWhinney, Ovoid Form , 2009, natural ash glaze.

h.20cm, w.3Ocm, d.1Scm 3 Hillary Kane, cut and altered

bottle, 2009, natural ash glaze, h.2Ocm, w.1Scm, d.1Scm

Photographers: Hillary Kane and Bruce McWhinney

Since the kiln was bu ilt with only a single layer of dense brick, the insulation layer applied to the outside

needed more attention, A mix of fireclay, sand and sawdust to a thickness of at least 150 mm would help

retain heat. but in the case of the Baligama only a 50 mm layer of local clay and sand was used. Th is

proved insufficient. The kiln would also have benefited from being sunk lower into the ground to both

buttress the arch and help provide further insulation.

For the first time in my experience, the whole kiln, and the work within, was fired completely wet.

Pots and kiln were literally steamed dry by firing. Having a great team, and using this method, the kiln

progressed very quickly.

I would recommend this construction technique for people wanting to experiment w ith kiln building as

it allows for fast results. Like all kilns it will take many firings to learn the Baligama's true nature, and for

the people who use it, the challenge will be to develop work sympathetic to it's unique cultural origins.

Bruce McWhinney will be organising workshop tours to Gaya from April 2011 .

T: +61 (0)294398686; M: 0425 203 205



Owen Rye

I have two reasons for writing in relation to my pre-Triennale article on ceram ics

education (The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Issue 48/2, page 69). First my

friend Rob Barron describing me, in a good natured way, as Pol Pot - wanting to send

all intellectuals to the rice fields to dig up clay. Second, Jan Guy's comment in the last

issue of The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Issue 48/3, page 93.

So .. . a little background. My original plan for a session on education at the Triennale

was to have a debate called Education, what's the point, aimed at clarifying whether

ceramics education was moribund after so many courses closing, and we should put it

out of its misery; or, whether we should collectively formulate strategies to help build

up education offerings as much as possible and support those strategies collectively.

I thought that debate would be topical, current and real. My article was intended as

devil's advocacy contributing to only one side of that debate, rather than a statement

of my real beliefs. In the end the debate idea was abandoned because everyone

had mixed feelings and did not want to take sides, but I decided to send the article

in anyway intend ing to fire up some serious responses and to get the debate

happening at the conference.

My real belief, as expressed in my own teaching over many years, is that any focus

for ceramic work is legitimate and the role of education is to assist in realiSing those

aims. The work will then stand or fall on what it contributes to the general field of

ceramics. Arguments between maintaining the old or developing the new are, in the

end, pointless. We act as individuals and each individual needs to develop a body of

work meaningful to themselves, and then present it publicly to see what response it

draws. Change is inevitable anyway, regardless of what anyone thinks about it.

I do have a strong criticism of the current education system, which led to me

leaving it. People who are trying to teach are buried under mountains of bureaucracy

and B5, and waste much time dealing with it. And quite often, from what I hear, the

institution is unsympathetic to what is needed for worthwhile education in any field of art

- witness the damage Melbourne University is doing to the Victorian College of the Arts.

So the teachers constantly bang their heads against walls (not brick, the bureaucracy don't

support ceramics) . I have the greatest respect for anyone who can survive all that and still help

students realise their aims.




Jim Robison and Ken Munsie congratulating Ian Reid (centre)

on hIs prize-wlnnmg pot at Maleny Artwork

Jim Robison and Megan Puis at

Maleny Artworks

Jim Robison in Australia

Liz Robison reports on six wonderful events in t he eastern states

A visit to the UK studio of Jim Robison in October 2008 by Jackie Gasson and a group of potters from

Queensland's Sunshine Coast resulted in an invitation for Jim to visit Australia in October 2009 as an

international guest.

The first events were in Townsville, courtesy of the North Queensland Potters Association, where Jim

judged the National Ceramics Competition entries at the Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery. A suitably

controversial choice for Best In Show was given to Rowley Drysdale for his Fused Feldspar Trough. It

really pushed boundaries and is now in the gallery's permanent collection of ceramics.

At the awards ceremony Jim gave a slide show about his work as well as demonstrating his

techniques over the next two days at the North Queensland Potters workshops. Jim makes large

sla bware pieces with impressed and slip decoration with the use of layering and extrusions for rims,

handles and feet. Two pieces were left behind to be bisque fired and added to their collection of

contemporary ceramics.

Next stop was the Sunshine Coast where the four-day Spring Fever biennial ceramics festival took

place. The five demonstrators provided suitable variety in their approaches to make riveting watching.

Vipoo Srivilasa, from Victoria, is a hand-builder whose work is theatrical, flamboyant and humorous and

the audience also had a hands-on session under his direction. Jim demonstrated construction of big

work, slam-dunk dishes using a wooden frame, and how to make impressed slabs into tiles. Fleur Schell,

from WA, hand-built her work in porcelain, as well as press moulding in a process of cut and paste that

resu lted in extraordinary narrative pots. buildings and Heidi figures. Ian Jones, from NSW, who produces

wood-fired work that is largely functional. inspired by Japanese traditional ceramics and the Anglo­

Oriental Leach tradition, made a large platter involving wire-cutting and the pounding of eight bags of

clay. Shannon Garson also demonstrated some of her delicate decorating techniques.

Sponsorship is always an important aspect of ceramics festiva ls. David Walker from Walker Ceramics

provided a variety of clays for the demonstrations. At the important panel discussion on marketing,

David made many valid points about how the ceramicist needs to work actively to help customers learn

about the craft. Shannon Garson discussed using new technologies to promote work, whilst Vipoo

explored issues relating to relationships between artists and galleries. Jim talked about the importance



of commission work because of the direct communication it necessitates between the clients and the


Jim also judged a competition called The Vessel at Ken Munsie's gallery, Maleny Artworks. This time

there was more consensus about the winner, a beautifully thrown lidded pot by Ian Reid .

Co-ordinating all these events is a tribute to the organisational skills of Jackie Gasson. After a few

days of R&R, a three day workshop was held at Jackie's studio, attended by about thirty people working

with formers, extruders and surface decoration techniques.

Jackie also facilitated the sixth and final strand of Jim's visit - a one day demonstration to thirty

enthusiasts at ANU . Thanks to Greg Daly who went to great lengths to gather all that Jim had

requested. We were then privileged to stay overnight at the Rangeview home and studio of Janet


Our last stop was at Wood end, near Melbourne, to stay with an old friend. From there we visited

the old pottery at Bendigo, to see old kilns, photos and machinery - the one to make stoppers for

stoneware bottles was nicknamed 'the finger chopper'.

One final thought we had after our visit is that with courses in ceramics becoming rare both in

Australia and the UK, all these demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions are important educational

resources that should be supported and encouraged because they may become one of the few ways to

mentor the next generation.

www,boothhousegallery.co.uk; www,suncoastclayworkers.org.au

1 Ian Jones and his little helper; 2 Shannon Garson; 3 Vipoo Srivilasa; 4 Jim Robison and V ick i Grima wIth one of Jim's

demonstration pIeces; 5 Fleur Schell; 6 Birgit Sowden dUring VIPOO'S hands-on session; photos: VIcki Grima


Archive: Pottery in Au stra lia, Vol9, No I, Autumn 1970



!.. .. ) or ok



Archive: Pottery in Australia, Vo19, No 1, Autumn 1970




CAPACITY OF SETTING SPACE: 36" hl x 24" x 20" ... 10cub. ft. r~ -·~:o1 Hot-face Insulating Refractory

rea of Chamber floor: 27.SM x 25.5" = 702 sq. Ins. = 100% m.'4 Medium-grade dense Refactory

- 281 sq. ins. = 40%

I ~'" ~ I High-Alumina Refractory

Area of Grate: 27.s" x 10.25"

Area of Throal: (27.5". 6- ) - 36 ::0 129 sq. ins. ... 18Y2%

rea of Exit-flues: Total 60 sq. ins. Block in to 50 sq. ins. = 7%

rea of Main flue: 9.25" x 9.25'"

rea of Chimney: 9.25 H x 9.25"

Height of Chimney: 15 ft. from ground level


flot-face Insulating IIrebrick:

85 sq. Ins. = 12%

85 sq. ins. = 12%

Medium-g,sde densslirebrklc:

ML 28 l000nly 9 x 4~ x3 squares 1300 only 9" x 4Y1H X 3" squares

ML 26 320 55 .. 9". 4Yz- x 1 Yz- splits

ML23 100 4Q .. 9"x 4Yz-Xl- tlies

ona only 200 lb. bag setting material 3 " 15" x 12'" x 3" flue tiles

one only 141b. can HA wash-coat .. 18" x 9" x 3" flue tile


5 cwt only setting material


500nly 9" x 41h " x 3" squares

One only bag setting melerlal

WOOD FUEL: Cui to 24"-26-ln length

!i.E. Cement Bricks to be used


Well Read

Contemporary Ceramics

by Emmanuel Cooper

Published by Thames & Hudson, 2009

Hardback (with jacket)

304 pages, 611 Illustrations (all colour), $75.00

ISBN 9780500514870



Now available online


or call 1300720 124

Emmanuel Cooper is widely known as a respected writer, artist and educator. He is the visiting

Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, London, editor of Ceramic Review

magazine (UK), and the co/author of over a dozen books within the field, both pradical and interpretive.

Cooper's latest contribution, the handsome and lavishly illustrated Contemporary Ceramics, is

ordered into five chapters. 'Beyond Utility' deals with fundional ware and the paradox of the 'artisan

artist'; 'Defining Space' looks at the vessel and its relationship to space through the integration of

colour, pattern, form and placement; 'Mind the Gap' focuses on the plasticity of clay, emphasising

sculptural work and the way in which artists increaSingly combine disparate materials; 'A Sense of

Space' covers interadive, site-specific and environmental installations; 'The Line of Beauty' addresses

creative collaborations between artists and industry through the advent of new design possibilities,

concepts, technologies and innovation. Biographical details of the artists featured and a list of selected

art galleries and museums with collections of contemporary ceramics round out the volume.

Though the book makes no claim to be an exhaustive global survey, Australian practitioners are

generously represented: the ubiquitous Gwyn Hanssen Pigott OAM, Les Blakebrough and Janet

Mansfield OAM, are joined by Vipoo Srivilasa, Stephen Bowers, Robin Best, Kirsten Coelho and David

Pottinger, among others. Of the other Asia-Pacific countries, artists from South Korea, Japan, and China

dominate, though none from New Zealand, Indonesia, or the Pacific Rim are included. (Presumably, such

an omission is unlikely to be redressed any time soon. A similarly beautiful tome covering regional artists

would certain ly be welcomed, but would inevitably require an eye·watering publishing subsidy, given the

reality of arts publishing in Australia).

Cooper knowledgeably weighs into current discourse surrounding the clay;craft, fine art vs. craft

divide, discussing several key shifts in perception and practice in recent years, and evaluating the wider

impad upon the ceramics fraternity. The emphasis is determinedly up-to-date; a more predictable

histOrical/chronological approach has been eschewed, and virtually all featured works fall within the last

decade. The pleaSing scope and diversity of the works presented are combined with a crisp, uncluttered

layout and quality photography. All this serves to amply reinforce Cooper's Insightful observations, and

the tone of spirited advocacy which characterises the text, speaks of the enduring creativity, passion and

resourcefulness of artists utilising, but not necessarily being defined by, this primeval material.

Review by Inga Walton

E: inga_walton@yahoo.com,au


Well Read

Low-Firing and Burnishing

by Sumi von Dassow

A Ceramics Handbook

Published by A & C Black, London 2009

112 pages, $39.95

ISBN 9781408106365



Low-firing and


Now available online


or call 1300 720 124

Sumi von Dassow was seduced by burnished ceramics at the University of Washington, 1982-1984,

where she was encouraged to burnish her pieces. Her love of their glow and warmth changed the

course of her career. It led to a second degree with an emphasis on ceramics from San Francisco State

University, 1985-1987. Since then, she has exhibited widely and written for ##Ceramics Monthly## and

Pottery Making Illustrated magazines. She teaches at a centre for traditional arts.

Low-Firing and Burnishing, the third book by Sumi von Dassow, describes the history of burnished

ceramics, how to burnish, low-firing techniques and post-firing finishing. Its bibliography, lists of

suppliers (including Australian), contributing artists, glossary and index make it a practical resource.

Images throughout support the text and illustrate the dramatic and aesthetic aspects of the technique.

Her previous books, Barrel, Pit and Saggar Firing, 2001, and Electric Kiln Ceramics, 2003, suggest

extensive knowledge of firing techniques. But this new book goes beyond firing. It describes burnishing

with and without terra sigillata, including recipes and procedures for preparation and successful


Chapters on smoke, black, pit, saggar and raku firing impart step-by-step information on each

method, describing variations between cultures and practitioners. Suitable bisque-firing temperatures for

each method are given, as well as a table showing which clay suits each firing method. Unfortunately

many ingredients and clay bodies are specifically American, which may not be useful for Australians.

The depth of description and array of methods In this book may daunt beginners, though I was

inspired to try. More advanced ceramic artists should find something new for experimentation in their

work. The author has been extremely generous with the practical information provided. One could begin

or extend a journey that seems endless in its possibilities, knowing that low-firing methods have a place

in history and In current ceramic practice worldwide.

Review by Marian McLaren



Australia Wide


The preview exhibition of the 2010 Bald Archys

has ensured an uproarious start to the year

at Watson Arts Centre with visitor numbers

eclipsing all previous records. This event is always

good for Potters Place - Creations in Clay, the

co-operative retail arm of the Canberra Potters'

Society, whose premises adjoin the gallery. Many

new contacts are made and sales are good, with

customers returning throughout the year. The

autumn program for the WAC gallery includes a

specialist bowl-makers exhibition until 11 April,

followed by the annual CPS student/teacher

exhibition 15 April - 9 May. Keven Francis,

recent recipient of a graduate award from the

ANU School of Art Ceramics Workshop, w ill

present a solo exhibition from 13 - 23 May.

Amanda Small from the USA will be a visiting

artist at the ANU SofA Ceramics Workshop this

semester. She will present a public Artforum

lecture on Wednesday 31 March. Strathnairn Arts

Association will host French ceramicist Roseline

Vedrines as Artist in Residence from March

to May. Roseline w ill exhibit her work in the

Strathnairn Homestead Gallery from 24 April - 9

May. If you have never visited Strathnairn, then

a visit to this exhibition would be the ideal time

to enjoy its peaceful rural ambience. Check it out

at www.strathnairn.asn.au. After an informative

membership survey at the end of last year, the

Canberra Potters' Society w ill be offering an

expanded program of classes, members events

and workshops for 2010. Full details available at

www.canberrapotters.com. Visitors are always

welcome at CPS events and especially on Open

Day which is coming up on Sunday 6 June.

Hope to see you then.

Cheers, Jane Crick

E: janecrick@dodo.com.au


Paul Davis and Jacqueline Clayton have relocated

their amazing ceramic manufacturing plant to

a warehouse in Islington, Newcastle. They are

incorporating a gallery on the premises and

are also playing with a few other ideas that

may come to fruition. Davis will be teaching

at Newcastle Art School - TAFE. We welcome

them both; with their wealth of knowledge and

experience they are sure to contribute immensely

to the growing ceramic community in the Hunter.

CLASH is the provocative t itle of the Newcastle

Region Art Galleries contemporary sculptural

ceramics exhibition. The theme looks at the

contradiction between materiality of the work

and the subject matter andlor meaning. An

opening forum was led by the curator, Tobias

Spitzer, with three of the artists in attendance.

Two artists from an earlier period who explored

these ideas, John Perceval and Margaret Dodd,

were represented by their sem inal works,

Perceval's angels and Dodd's Holden cars . Three

local artists chosen for the exhibition were

Tracie Bertram, Vicki Hamilton and Pam Sinnott.

Bertram's large open sculptural pieces w ith the

handmade mosa ic tiles were imposing, but not

quite as resplendent as when displayed at the

Hunter Botanical Gardens. Hamilton's exquisitely

made porcelain animals were all constricted

in some form, inferring the pain inflicted on

these creatures by humans. The t it le of Sinnott's

boxes of robust fruit and vegetables Friends

of Dorothy/Know What I Mean, is a play on

the US post-war term for lesbians. Gerry Wedd

travelled up from Adelaide and captured us

with his usual humour in both the work and

his talk. His Mark Richards thong pays tribute

to our local surfing hero. Danie Mellor works

in many mediums and this series of shields

and boomerangs have maps painted onto the

surfaces referencing Aboriginal identity. Michael

Doolan continues w ith his victimised and

alienated bear series. Penny Byrne's super Kitsch

sculptures, derived from the early European style

figurines, made in Asia and altered dramatically,

are loaded with references and obscure titles.

Again, obscure titles draw us in to make meaning

of the crazy sculptures of Myfanwy Gu llifer, a

newcomer with a passion for clay and social

commentary. Jenny Orchard's totems on the

Living Reef Series create a visua l version that is

a reminder of the beauty of a vulnerable living

treasure. Clash closes on 18 April.

Cheers, Sue Stewart

E: sue@ceramicartist.com.au

qld far north

Despite heavy rain and storms the Ca irns Potters

Club is busy planning for the year ahead.

The Melting Pot 2009 National Ceramic

Exh ibition was a great success. Photos of all the

exhibits can be found on our website


To let more people in Cairns share the knowledge

and enjoyment of doing pottery, the Club has

opened its doors for people w ith disabilities.


--------------------------------- - --~-~------~--

Australia Wide

Last year we managed to get funding from

Cairns Regional Council to make our clubhouse

wheelchair accessible and so we now hope to

work with disability groups.

Last year members of the Club were invited to a

pottery festival in Zumin Village, Morobe District,

Papua New Guinea. It was a great experience

for the group to stay in the village which has a

long tradition in pottery making. Not only was

it interesting to observe the pottery skills of the

local potters, but also to look at performers from

the district who came to play, sing and dance,

all dressed in colourful traditional costumes. This

year Zumin village will again organise a festival

towards the end of July and the Cairns Potters

Club has promised to promote the festival to

Australian potters. If you are interested in an

eventful trip to Zumin Festival (not too expensive

as visitors will sleep, eat and live village style

during the stay), please contact me for more


Lone White

E: lone@tpg~com.au

qld south east

The dedicated Committee of the Gold Coast

Potters' Association (GCPA) has hit the boards

running for 2010, with kids holiday workshops

in January that were a great success, and a kiln

workshop with Di Buckland in March. A raku

workshop with Lyn Russell will fire up in April,

followed by a Jackson Li two-day brush making

and decorating workshop on 8 and 9 May (go

to wwwgoldcoastpotters.com), a Northern

Rivers (NSW) bus tour in June, and the always

popular Annual Members' Exhibition in August

to coincide with the Int ernational Ceramic Art

Award (21 Aug - 17 Sept). Plans are underway

to hold a workshop on Sunday 15 August with

the workshop artist to be advised.

The Clay Art Benowa Gallery has reopened

Saturdays and Sundays from lOam - 4pm. Clay

Art is a group of potters from the GCPA whose

aim is to have a permanent display of quality,

affordable, functional and non-functional ceramic

art produced by its members and at the same

time make use of the little Gallery they are so

f ortunate to have, thanks to the foresight of

the Gold Coast City Council. The GCPA is right

behind this venture, seeing it as a means to raise

the profile of great locally produced ceramic art

on the Gold Coast.

The Bribie Island Arts Society is host ing the

inaugural Bribie Island Arts Festival in July 2010.

This will include numerous pottery workshops:

16-18 July, Janet Deboos; 19 & 20 July, Kevin

Grealy; 21 & 22 July, Gerry O'Connor; 24 & 25

July, Janna Pameijer. E: festival@bribieartcentre.

com.au; T: Bribie Island Arts Centre, 07 3408

9288. http://bribieartcentre.com.au/html/

201 OartsfestivaV51 Ifestival-home-page

In January, two exhibitions were held: Leaf, Land

Lines with Stephanie Outridge Field and Megan

Puis at the Gympie Times Exhibition Space, and

The A natomy of a Pot with works by Andrew

Bryant in the Hugo Du Rietz Gallery. Stephanie's

works featured scattered leaves blowing with

the breeze, which complemented Megan's

technically challenging work made with Southern

Ice porcelain and other clays. Andrew's works

revolved around skeletons and the anatomy.

The newly renovated Stanthorpe Pottery Club will

officially open on 20 February. The gallery will be

open each Saturday, lOam - 1 pm.

If any groups in SE OLD have news they would

like to include in this space, please contact me.

Happy potting,

Lyn Rogers,

T: 07 5594 3307; F 07 55943365

E: romeo-whisky@bigpond.com


The Australian Ceramics Triennale comes to

Adelaide in 2012 . Jan Twyerould convened

a forum to discuss themes and presenters

with input from artists, education institutions

and others. Details and potential conference

management structure is yet to emerge.

Conferences usually work well in Adelaide, an

accessible city with many resources close to


Brush and slip-trailed ceramics are on the agenda

with local artists Maria Chatzinikioali, Sylvia

Stansfield, Daisy Bell Virgin and Humna Mustafa

all creating distinctive works.

Entries will close on Friday 7 May for the South

Australian Ceramics Award. Send a digital image,

entry form, CV and entry fee to South Australian

Ceramics Award, c/- PO Box 234, Stepney SA

5069. The Award exhibition will open at Adelaide

Central Gallery on Friday 2 July at 6pm closing

on Saturday 24 July.

John Ferguson is Honorary Artist in Residence at

Ballarat Uni Ceramics Dept from March to May.

John will develop work for a solo show at the

Uni's Post Office Gallery, along with workshops


Australia Wide

for the Uni students, as well as a public lecture.

John says, "It is going to be an exciting and

challenging experience."

A book on the pottery of Milton Moon was

recently released . Published by Wakefield Press

in March, it's a substantial tome, illustrated in

colour and written by none other than Milton

himself. Cost: $39.95.

Kirsten Coelho's exquisite porcelains were at

BMG Gallery recently, with the opening attended

by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, a fan of Kirsten's

work. BMG also recently showed paintings by

ceramics legend Mark Thompson, exploring

two areas strongly identified with Mark's

ceramic work: skilled figuration and provocative

symbolic imagery. Thompson's ceramic works still

reverberate strongly in Adela ide. His monumental

installation, The Pavilion of Death, Dreams

and Desire caused a furor during the 1982

Adelaide Festival of Arts, prompting calls for

censorship and investigation by the Vice Squad.

The brouhaha at the time gave ceramics the kind

of public scrutiny seen recently over Bill Henson's


Gus Clutterbuck has moved from Ernabella

Arts to Amata Community as a community

artsworker at the Amata Anangu School. Gus

will work with senior secondary boys in ceramics,

sculpture and outdoor design via a community

arts project to develop an outdoor area within

the school grounds, specifically for their use. Gus

is also developing his own works for Adelaide

exhibitions, in May this year at Artroom5 Gallery

and next year at Art Images Gallery.

Stephen Bowers

E: stephen.bowers@jamfactory.com.au


The Tasmanian Ceramics Association held its

annual exhibition in November 2009 in the

new City-central venue. It was a bonus not to

have to manage a sitting roster, however the

gallery's basement location resulted in fewer

visitors than usual and consequently fewer

sales. The exhibition was launched by Terry

Gough, a familiar figure in Hobart art circles,

and the judging was conducted by John Bla ine,

ceramics teacher at Claremont College, and Peter

Anderson from the Tasmanian Museum and Art


The award for overall excellence, donated by

Tasmanian Ceramic & Pottery Supplies, went to

Peter Anderson for his Deconstructed Vessel.

Th is piece, a 61 cm high, coil-thrown vessel form,

also won the People's Choice Award, donated by

Walker Ceramics.

The Northcote Pottery Award for functional work

went to Deborah Warner for her vessel, Latitude

5, a long, low, oriental vase with a stunnin g

turquoise glaze.

The Derwent Ceramic Supplies Award for nonfunctional

work was given to Henriette Norris for

A Fine Pair (of ceramic Cape Barren geese).

Christine Crisp's Sirius, Phantom, Achilles

and Sinbad was the winner of The Journal of

Australian Ceramics Award for innovative use

of the medium for its combination of glass

and terracotta in an evocation of 18th century

maritime exploration.

Peter Anderson also received a prize from

Ceramics Art and Percept ion for his piece

entitled Land Urn.

To see the complete collection in colour, log

on to the TCA's website (Google 'Tasmanian


Th is year's exhibition is to be held in the Rosny

Schoolhouse Gallery in August, so members are

encouraged to start planning their work now.

John Watson, E: john@dmink.net


The past year in Victoria has been a true

celebration of the forty years of Ceramics

Victoria, culminating with the 40th Anniversary

Exhibition at Manningham Gallery and a

showcase of ceramics in local and regional

galleries. The exhibition was an exciting mix of

diverse, highly individual work. The winner of

the 40th Anniversary Acquisitive award was Ann

Ferguson with Par Avion. The Harold Hughan

Acquisitive Award went to John Dermer and

The Connie Dridan Acquisitive Award to Irianna

Kanellopoulou. Sponsor Awards were won by

Kevin Boyd, Robyn Phelan, Sandra Bowkett, Barry

Singleton, Phil Elson, Paul Davis, Greg Daly and

Jane Sawyer. Congratulations to the exhibitors

and to all the award winners.

The Ceramics Victoria 8th Festival in Ceramics

will be held in Ballarat in September.

Barry Singleton was the judge of the Valley

Potters 2009 Annual Exhibition, Clay Spectrum

at Kingston Gallery. Winner of the Acquisitive

Award was Jill Anderson with Gutless Siren.

Other award winners were Laura W indmill, Jill

Bygott, Glenn England and Sharyn Dingeldei.

In February, Stonehouse Gallery sponsored


Australia Wide

an encouragement award for TAFE ceram ics

students. Each college was Invited to put

forward two students who would benefit from

the experience of exhibiting in a gallery. The

result was an excellent exhibition of the work

of Julie Ayton and Cindy Arrowsmith from

Chisholm Institute, and Peter Smith and Nandita

Nadkani from Holmesglen TAFE . In opening

t he exhibition Anna Maas, from Skepsi Gallery,

praised the work and said in her opinion they

were all winners and it was extremely difficult to

choose between them. Each student was invited

to speak about their work, their techniques

and inspiration. Cindy Arrowsmith received the

encouragement award for a group of slip-cast

work in a cone 6 translucent body that she had


I also had the pleasure of seeing an exhibition

by Janet Mansfield at Skepsi. The pots in her

exhibition have been fired in three different

wood kilns showing a range of salt glaze and ash

effects. The pots are energetic with the warm,

rich surfaces enhancing the simple loose forms,

showing a lifetime of experience.

Glenn England

E: glennengland@optusnet.com.au


Garry Zeck exhibited collaboratively w ith Ian de

Souza at Stafford Studios in Cottesloe. Their

inspiring works were bold, colourful and fresh.

Both these respected artists have dynamic

individual styles which complemented each other

in their co-ordinated approach to celebrate their

theme, Western Australian floral forms.

Fleur Schell from Soda Studios has organised

a weekend workshop on 24 and 25 April with

Vancouver ceramic artist Laura McKibbon to

explore basic principles of printing on clay.

Participants will become familiar with a variety

of methods of image transfer. This workshop will

be held at the SODA Forest Retreat near Hamelin


Jenny Macrae from Denmark reported on the

Southern Art & Craft Trail held in conjunction

with the opening of Alchemy with Earth

- Celebrating Ceramics. Seven clay workers

exhibited new and diverse works at The Old

Butter Factory, whilst Robyn Lees gave weekend


Congratulations to Cher Shackleton for receiving

an Honourable Mention in the Vasefinder

Nationals 20 10. This is the first time in their

history an award has been given outside the

USA. Go to www.vasefinder.com.

New Zealand ceramic artist Chris Weaver will

present a weekend demonstration workshop at

Central TAFE In May 2010.

Congratulations to Ian Dowling for the inclusion

of an image of his work in the 2010 Potters

Council 'Sculpture Collection' calendar. His work

looks great on the cover, as well the feature for


Clay Feet's Luminescence Exhibition at

Heathcote Gallery, curated by Soula Veyradier

and opened by Digby de Bruin, revealed a

remarkable array of ceramic techniques from

pastel-tinted bone china lights to glowing

phosphorescent porcelain installation pieces to

primitively fired, sculptural clay heads. Seven

members participated.

Graham Hay demonstrated and exhibited at the

first US-based International Paperclay Symposium

in California in February 2010. He then returned

to Australia to give two weekend workshops in


Put POTober in you r diary for 8, 9 and 10

October. Local and interstate ceramic artists will

present demonstration workshops, talks and

powerpoint presentations.

Al ison Brown has been selected to exhibit her

work at The South West Survey 2010, Over

There - the premier event of the Bunbury

Regional Art Gallery's annual calendar. It

continues until 11 April.

Jill Arch ibald is holding a raku kiln-building

weekend workshop at Canning Arts Group on

14 and 15 May 2010.

Showcase Gallery in Northbridge hosted

Josephine Pittman's debut solo exhibition in


Pauline Mann

T: 08 9459 8 140, E: pandpm@westnet.com.du

Garry Zeek's and Ian de Souza's collaborative exhibition,

Stafford StudiOS; photo: Sue Warrington




canberra potters society

1 aspinal st watson

national gallery of australia

bookshop parkes pi canberra

walker ceramics

289 canberra ave fyshwick


art gallery of nsw

art gallery rd the domain


bathurst regional art gallery

70-78 keppelst bathurst

bellingen newsagency

83 hyde st bellingen

brookvale ceramic studio

1119 powells rd brookvale

coffs harbour pottery supplies

8 primrose ave mullaway

cudgegong gallery

102 herbert st gulgong

essential object

65 andy poole drY tathra


131 glebe point rd glebe

gosford regional gallery

36 webb street east gosford

hazelhurst regional gallery

782 kingsway gymea

inner city clayworkers gallery

cnr st johns rd & darghan st glebe

keane ceramics

177 debenham rd south somersby

kerrie lowe gallery

49-5 1 king street newtown

lake macquarie art gallery

1 a first st booragul

museum of contemporary art

140 george st sydney NEW

narek galleries

1140 tathra to bermagui road tanja

new england regional art


kentucky street armidale

northern rivers pottery supplies

54d terania st north lismore

nsw pottery supplies

41/159 arthurst homebush

nulladulla potters

princes hwy milton

object gallery

4 17 bourke st surry hills

odord art supplies and books

145 victoria ave chatswood


114 comrnonwealth 51 surry hills

port hacking potters group

po box 71 miranda

potters' needs

75 curtis st oberon

sabbia gallery

120 glen more rd paddington

sturt craft centre

range rd mittagong


museum and art gallery of the nt

(onacher street fannie bay


cairns regional gallery

em abbott and shields 5t5 cairns

fusions gallery

enr rnalt & brunswick sts

fortitude valley


96 abbott st cairns

north queensland potters


15 flowers st townsville

pottery supplies

51 castlemaine st milton

queensland art gallery

stanley place south bank

the clay shed

2/24 hi-tech dYe kunda park


art gallery of south australia

north terrace adelaide

bamfurlong gallery

main st hahndorf

jamfactory craft & design

19 rnorphett 51 adelaide

the pug mill

17 a rose st mile end


anna pappas gallery

2-4 carlton st prahran

artisan books

159 gertrude st fitzroy


6 johnston court dandenong

craft victoria

31 flinders Ine melbourne

kazari collector and cafe

450 malvern rd prahran

macedon ranges potters

33 yellow gum boulevarde sunbury

national gallery of victoria

180 st kilda road melbourne

north cote pottery supplies

142-144 weston st brunswick east

red hill south newsagency

shoreham rd red hill south

rmit books hop

330 swanston 5t melbourne

potters equipment

13142 new st ringwood

shepparton art gallery

70 welsford st shepparton

skepsi on swanston

670 swanston st carlton


angus & robertson book world

240 york st albany

fremantle arts centre

1 finnerty st f remantle

graham hay

robertson park artists studio


jacksons ceramics

shop 4,30 erindale rd balcatta

john curtin gallery

kent street, curtin uni of technology


potters market

56 stockdale rd o'connor


derwent ceramic supplies

16b sunderland st moonah


lopdell house gallery

418 titirangi rd waitakere city





By using state of the art digital printing technology. Decal

Specialists can produce high quality Custom Ceramic Deca ls

from original artwork. The decorative possibilities with Custom

Decals are only limited by your imagination! Check out

our website: lh'WW.decalspecialists.com.au; T: 1300 132 771;

E: enquiries@decalspecialists.com.au


Only retailer of potlery supplies in Inner ~ydney. Keane's

clays ; discount for 5/ 10+ bags. Glazes and underglazes

at manufacturers prices. Wide range of tools. 49 King St,

Newtown 2042, T: 02 95504433, E: lowekerrie@gmall.com

Mon to Sat, lOam - 5.30pm / Thurs until 7pm.


Quality supplies and friendly service; A wide range of clays

and colours, kilns, wheels, slab roliers, pugmills, extruders,

all sorts of accessories, materials. glazes and tools.

Shop 13/42 New 5t, Ringwood VIC 3134

T: 03 9870 7533; F: 03 984 7 0793


Sound technical advice, kiln repairs and maintenance;

Clayvvorks', Wa lker's and Keane's day; pottery equipment

and tools; delivery to your door; short courses and regular

specialist workshops; friendly personal service.

Potters Needs Gallery; 75 Curtis St Oberon N5W 2787

T: 02 63360411 ; F: 02 63360898; M : 0418 982 837

E: Info@pottersneeds.com.3u; .WWW.pottersneeds.com.au


One of Australia's most experienced kiln and furnace

manu-facturers; Australia's largest range with 40 standard

sizes. custom sizes on request; Clean, effICient electric and

gas kilns and furnaces; made in Australia, environmentally

friendly. 12 George 5t, Blackburn VIC 3130

T: +61 (0)39877 4188; F: +61 (0)3 98941974

E: info@tetlow.com.au; W\rV\N. tetlow.com.au


Manufacturers and exporters of high quality pottery

equipment. Venco manufacture a range of pugmills with

output capaCities, suitable for schools and studios through

to high capacity industrial units. Venco pottery wheels are

world regarded for quality and reliability.

T: +61 (0)8 9399 5265; F: +61 (0)8 9497 1335;




Join Victor Greenaway on a great journey around Italian

ceramics. May 2010; Ceramica Italia; September 2010:

In Search of Form. Go to W'NIN.discoveringitaly.com for all

group programs, itinerary outlines, other art travel options

and master classes . See Vv"NW.victorgreenaway.com for the

latest ceramic and painting image galleries, a5 well as details

on workshops and exhibitions. Group programs are for all

comers. No experience is necessary. Master classes in cera m­

ics and painting on request.

Contact Kylie in Australia, T: 0417 339498 or Judith,

E: judithgreenaway@discoveringitaly.com


IntenSive two week workshops for cerarmosts in remarkable

and inspiring location; focused getaways for pre-established

clay groups; two month residenCies for established and

emerging ceramic artists; spaCIOUS, light-filled, fully eqUipped

studIO; Visit our site for upcoming courses and information,



19 September - 2 October, 2010

An e.scorted tour With Sue Buckle: Explore traditional

crafts, take part in short workshops and see makers In theIr

tradit ional villages; visit iconic sites in Mumbai, Udaipur and

Delhi. For information or brochures con tad Sue Buckle.

E: sue.buckle@blgpond.com; T: 02 99588621


Small personalised tours to France 2010 & 201 t

2010: 8 - 20 Sept: Ceramics tour; 23 Sept - 4 Oct ~ Paris,

la Borne, loire Valley; 2011 : 14 - 28 May: Painting/art tour

Provence; 2 - 16 June: lavender and hilltop hideaways

(DromelProvence); 23 June - 7 July: Music and pottery

(lyon to Proven ce); 6 - 20 Sept: Vineyards and Alsace; 24

Sept - 8 Oct: Brittany. E: jane@zestefrenchtours. com; 1: 03

9844 2337; M : 0422 942 116; www.zestefrenchtours.com



Our meetings are held on the fourth Friday of each month

(March to November) at the Epping Crea tive Centre, Dence

Park, 25 Stanley Street, Epping at B pm. Guest demonstrator

each month and access to our comprehensive library of

bookS/videoS/slides. Members and visitors welcome.

Plenty of free parking. T: 02 9869 2195; F: 02 98694722


Specialist in prototype and mould-making for ceramic mass

produdion and artworks. Ceramic design service also available.

Contact Somchai T: 02 9703 2557; M : 0401 359116;

E: eatandclay@gmail.com



A well-established co-operative which welcomes new member

applications at any time; St Johns Rd, Glebe NSW

TIF: 02 9692 9717; www.dayworkers.com.au


Pan Gallery is a Melbourne exhibition space encouraging the

creation and presentation of innovative ceramic artworks.

Representing a balance of emerging and established artists,

Pan Gallery accepts proposals to exhibit throughout the year.

142 - 144 Wf3ton Street Brunswick East VIC 3057

E: pangallery@bigpond.com Wl/INoI.northcotepottery.com.au



Providing craft artists w ith digital and traditional photography,

including graphic design to print or electronic media.

Associate AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional

Photographers). Over 30 yrs experience in various advertising,

corporate and government projects. Drummoyne NSW

2047 Australia; T: +61 (0)19181 1188 M : 0411 107744

E: greg@gregpiper.com.au; 'WINW.gregpiper.com.au




STRAIGHTS HOOTER Digital Photography & GraphIC Design

Offering photographic. photo finishing and graphIC design

services, providing high quality images and artwork, while

working closely with clients to provide a high level of

personal customer service. Riverview, NSW; T: 0432 288

016; E: paul.symons@straightshooterdiglta !.com.au;




Affordable, designed for strudural Integrity, lightweight;

also for hire. Roger Fenton, St Ives, NSW

T: 02 9488 8628; F: 02 9440 1212; M: 0417 443 414



The inaugural Bribie Island Arts Festival, 16 - 2S July 2010,

w ill include workshops by Janet DeBoos (wheel throwing),

Kevin Grealy (hand-bUilding), Gerry O'Connor (raku) and

Janna Pameijer (Aussie animals). For further information and

bookings, E: testival@bribieartcentre.com.au, Arts Centre

T: 07 3408 9288; http://bribieartcentre.com.aulhtmV

20 1 OartsfestivaV51/festival~home·page


Weekend workshops in glass blowing, glass casting and mosaic;

expert tuition, tun~filled and informative; Manly area;

Sallie Portnoy TfF: 02 9938 6395; 0418 279 518


HOT TO POT WORKSHOPS at Moonshlll, Tarago

(nr. Goulburn)

22 May 2010 (Saturday): Paper Plaster - The secret of lightweight

slump moulds; $88. 7 - 11 July (Wed to Sun):

5 day workshop - Fume and Saggar - build original clay

works and experience the allure of low·temperature fumed

colour development; $385. Bookings essential.

Contad Jane T/F: (02) 6161 0806

E: janecrick@dodo.com.au; www.janecrick.netfirms.com




26 July - 17 September: A master class for those com ~

mitted to developing their studio pradice. Students must

have throwing experience. Course fee is $4500. For further

information, T: 02 4860 2080; www.sturt.nsw.edu.au


5 - 9 July 2010: Courses include Throwing with Chr is

Weaver and Printing on Clay with Petra Svoboda. For further

information, T: 02 4860 2080 or www.sturt.nsw.edu.au


Ceramics classes, day & evening, Monday to Friday,

weekend & holiday workshops. New teaching artists KWlrak

Choung & Petra Svoboda join Barbara Campbell-Allen.

Beginners and experienced ceramicists welcome; Renata

de Lambert retrospective exhib;r;on; 9 - 24 April, Ewart

Gallery, Workshop Arts Centre; 33 Laurel Sireet, Willoughby

NSW 2068; T: 02 99586540;

E: admin@workshoparts.org.au




Clay Energy Masters Exhibition: Wed 28 April- Mon

31 M ay 2010; More than 20 master ceramic artists w ill

come together from across the globe. Graham Smith Solo

Exhibition: Paint and Clay. Fri 4 June - Mon 19 July 2010;

A new exhibition of large paintings, drawings and ceramic

works. 102 Herbert Street Gulgong, NSW 2852;

T: 02 63741630; E: mail@cudgegonggallery.com.au,



Until 13 April: The Gentle Arts: Wha t Our Grandmothers

Did - Jennie Kants; 16 April - 4 May: Women Who

Eat: food-related ceramics - Kristyn Taylor and Kerry Lowe

and The Painted Dog - David and Mingle Wiggs; 7 - 2S

May: Domestic Ware - Maryke Henderson and Sarah

Hogwood; 28 May - 15 June: Sculptures and Wall Pieces

- Bev Hogg and Colour by Nature - Elsa Rodriguez; 18 June

- 6 July: Transferring the Image - group show featuring

printed ceramiCS; 16 July: Porcelain Wall Tiles - Maiju

Altpere-Woodhead; Man to Sat, lOam - 5pm

49 King St, Newtown NSW 2042; T: 02 95504433

E: lowekerrie@gmail.com l/'oIVVIN.kerrielowe.com



Distance Ceramics: Canberra can put you in touch with

contemporary ceramics from anywhere in the world. We

are currently calling for expressions of interest from persons

wanting to undertake a postgraduate coursework degree

by distance study. Research Masters and PhD may also be

undertaken by distance study in some cases. For more infor~

mation write to Distance Ceramics Program, Building 105,

ANU, Canberra 0200 ACT Australia. T: +61 (0)261 255823;

F: +61 (0)2 6125 5723, www.soa.anu.edu.aulceramics



The Diploma ot Arts, Ceramics is a sk ills ~based course

conducted by specialist staff in a well resourced studio. Our

extension program runs hands ~on workshops in wood· firing,

low temperature firing, life modelling in clay and advanced

glaze research. Contad Glenn England, T: 03 9212 5398

E: pamela.england@chishoim.vic.edu.au


Holmesglen Chadstone Campus: Diploma of CeramIcs

The scope and vision of our Diploma of Ceramics Course at

Holmesglen is to prepare students for a career in ceramic

art. We provide a profeSSional, well equipped studio environ~

ment and the staff are recognized, practiSing artists. Our aim

is to inspire individual development and encourage ongoing

levels of inquiry.

Kim Martin, Course Coordinator of Ceramics and Visual

Arts, T: 03 9564 1942; wwvv.holmesglen.edu.au


Ceramics as a major study is offered on the Bendigo campus

in the Bachelor of Visual Arts course at La Trobe Visual Arts

& Design. Honours is offered to high achieving students

wishing to develop their practice to an advanced level, allowing

entry into post graduate Masters or PhD by research

within ceramics.

Contad Tony Conway, T: 03 5444 7217

E: a.conway@latrobe.edu.au


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• 1 year (3 issues) subscription to 'The Journal of Australian Ceramics'

• 12 months Product, Public and Tenants Liability Insurance (optional)

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Fax or mait to The Australian Ceramics Association, PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024 Australia

T: 1300 720 124 F: +61 (2) 9369 3742 E: mail@australianceramics.com WWW.3ustralianceramics.com

Become a member

The Australian Ceramics Association


• 1 year (3 issues) subscription to The Journal of Australian Ceramics'

• 12 months Product, Public and Tenants Liability Insurance (optional)

• 6 issues ofTACA's bi-monthly enews 'Australian Ceramics - In Touch'

• Free artist listing on the online Australian Ceramics Directory

• Discounts on TACA workshops

• Opportunities to exhibit in TACA's national exhibitions

• Opportunities to meet other ceramic artists and collectors

• Tax-deductible Membership Fee

Join now and be part of the peak organisation representing Australian Ceramics.

Annual Fee (Membership is anniversary-based so the date you join becomes your annual renewal date)



Membership Fee $188 / with insurance linel, $17.10 G5TI -

Membership Fee $88/ without insurance linel. $8.00 GSTI -

and individuals

available only to individuals*

available to groups

* A Certificate of Currency will be issued to those who take the 'with insurance' option.

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Classified s


CeramiCS Courses 2010:

BfA (Ceramics) - 3 years full time, BfA Honours ·1 year full

time, MFA (Ceramics) - part time or full tune.

PubliC Programs 2010: Winter SchoolS - 9 July - Bruce

Nuske: Drawn to Clay, Sandy lockwood: Wheel-forming

With Sandy lockwood. Short Courses Semester 2, Saturdays

lOam· 4pm, 5 sesSIOns, 31 July - 28 August: Won Seck

Kim ' Wheel-forming Techmques, Jenny Orchard: Fire Your

Imagination. The CeramiCS Dept also maintains an artist In

residence program, international exchanges and visiting artists.

Contad: Merran Esson, T: 02 9339 8744, forbes Street,

Darhnghurst, Sydney, NSW, 2010; www.nas.edu.au


Introducing a new course structure In 2011 . Contemporary

3D concepts in ceramics including sculpture, mixed m€"dra.

Jewellery. architectural ceramics and design studies.

SA fine Art (full-time); Post-Graduate Studies by Research

and Coursework (full-ume & part-time)

Contad: sally Cleary, T: 03 9925 3865

E: sally.cleary@rmlt.edu.au; wwvv.rmlt.edu.aulart


Hornsby and Northern Beaches College offer accredited

qualIfIcations from CertifICate to Advanced DIploma levels

as well as short specialist programs for both the beginner

and advanced ceramicists. For more information, E: nsi.

ceramics@tafensw.edu.3u. For general course and program

enquiries call 131 674 or go to WVv"N.nsr.tafensw.edu.3u


CertifIcate and Diploma courses in ceramICs - fuJI and part·

time attendance; now offering Advanced Diploma onlIne.

Cnr Kingsway and Hotham Road, Gymea NSW

T: 02 9710 5001; F: 02 9710 5026




Offers a range of full· time and part-tIme courses In Ceram­

ICS, FlOe Arts, Photography and Digital Arts. Mld·year enrol·

ments are available in some courses. For further mformatlon

contad Cath Barcan at the College on 02 9208 9338 or VISit



otters Ceramic Diploma, full time, and Certificate IV, full and

parHime. All aspects of ceramics included (practical/technl'

caVtheory/exhibitlons). Staff are practising ceramicists. The

Newcastle Art School campus has well equipped studios and

a gallery on site. It is located in Newcastle's cultural precinct

and within walking distance to seven other galleries.

Contact Sue Stewart E: sue@ceramicartist.com.au or

Christina Sykiotis T: (02) 4929 0333


CertifICate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma Courses In

Ceramics. Courses require application.

EnqUiries: John Stewart T: 02 6623 0218

E: John.stewart@tafensw.edu.au


Contributions on aU aspects

of Australian ceramics are


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go to the 'Form Downloads'


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17 July 2010

Focus: Education -

The Role of Mentors

Technical Focus:

Ceramic Competitions

Deadline for copy:

3 May 2010


20 November 2010


Architectural Ceramics

Technical Focus:


Deadline for copy:

13 September 2010





Woodrow Kilns - Producing Beautiful Ceramics and Pottery for over 40 years

Woodrow offers a complete range

of Electric or Gas Kilns.

All our Kilns are Australian

made and feature:

• Easy to use Digital Controls

• Abrasion Resistant Interior

• Long Lasting Kanthal A 1 Elements

• Rust Free -Aluminium frames

• Intergrated Stand

• Even Low Cost Firing

• Energy Efficient

• 2 Year Guarantee

Manufacture, Sales, Service & Spares

Various Digital Controllers

Kiln Furniture


Replacement Elements

PO Box 596 Revesby NSW 2212 Showroom: 31 . 33 Hoskins Ave, Bankstown NSW 2200

T: 102, 9790 2717 F. (02 ) 9708 4875 E: sales@kilns.com.au W· .. "u. "if" corn au


John Kuczwal

An exhibition of Reduced

Pigment Lustre Ceramics

27 June - 22 August 2010

Opening and talk 27 June. 2pm

"You've produced the best lustre pots J hove seen

(or 0 long time."

Alan Coiger~Smith, August 2006

"There are few lustre exponents in the world fodoy.

perhaps no more thon twenty or so. Tnus when on

exhibition such as this is created. it is on occasion to

celebrate such 0 rore event. This is on importont exhibition"

Alon Peoscod, August 2006

Sturt Gallery Range Road. Mittagong NSW 2575

T: +61 (0)248602083. www.sturt.nsw .edu.ou



Image: Greg Daly, Silver lustre glazed vose, fumed, 23 ems high

Diploma of Art (2 years on campus FfT,

PfT and flexible modes available)

Bachelor of Visual Art (3 yea rs)

Bachelor of Visual Art (Hons) (1 year direct entry)

Bachelor of Design Art (3 years)

Bachelor of Design Art (Hons) (1 year direct entry)

Graduate Diploma

Master of Visual Art (I year)

Master of Design Art (I year)

Master of Arts, Visual Art (2 years- coursework)

Master of Philosophy (2 yea rs research)

Doctor of Philosophy (2-3 years research)

Graduate Select (progressive Coursework program

leading to Master of Arts)


Head of Workshop Janet DeBoos




Clay Energy Gulgong 2010

I#dnesday April 28 - Sunday May 2, 2010

This is the eighth in these series of clay

events and promises to be as rewarding

and stimulating as the

previous seven have been.

lnternational arti s l~ from Finland,

Hungary, UK USA. NZ. Israel. SE Asia.

Japan. as weU as Australian artists

will lead the workshop presentations.

Participate in experimental raku

and hands-on events.

AUDS Conference Rates

Delegate -

$450 Full rate

Student - $325

Teacher with 6 Students _ $350

Day R ates - S100/day

•"lUll till

Register now

by going to the website


or 6J1 in the form below

email or and post i[ to

Clay Energy

PO Box 101 Gulgong

NSW 2852


Talks, demonstrations, exhibitions and special

events will take place in the historic and

friendly town of Gulgong, heart of the

renowned Puggoon clay deposits - small and

convenient enough to be intimate at the

same time becoming again the hub of the

ceramic world. Janet Mansfield is the art

director and will host a day at Morning View.

Chester Nealie is the master of ceremonies.

We are waiting for you.

Special guest artist: Frank Boyden. USA,

winner of the Janet Mansfield Fellowship

Award. sponsored by the Mid-Western

R egional Council. wililecrure and

demonstrate his ceramic techniques.



Address: .. ............................................................ ..... ................... ...... .

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EFT Ceramic Art BSB No.: 062220 Account No.: 252 161 O r fax 61 (0)2 6374 0257

OR email: c1ayenergy@gmail.com Please make out cheques to Mansfield Press.

Please indicate if you are interested in

} dormitory accommodation at $18 per night. or { } camping in the showgmund at $ 10 per night.

or { J. ticket for bus mvel between Gulgong and Sydney $100 each way.

Studio-based courses

Full and part-time

Wheelwork Tableware

Handbuilding Sculpture

Contemporary Installation

Mouldmaking & Casting

Decorating Techn iques

Glaze & Kiln Technology

Raku & Woodfiring





Artist: Inga Svendsen Photo: Stephen Cummings

CnrThe Kingsway & Hotham Rd

Gymea NSW 2227

Tel: (02) 97105001 Fax: (02) 97105026




A Division of Cronulla School of Arts Inc.

Andrew Halford' Wheel-thrown large sphencal form

Breit Smoot: three moulded beakers

Helen Blayney. Hand-formed female form

46th National Pottery Competition and Exhibition

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre

Gymea NSW

2 - 12 October 2010

Judge: Julie Bartholomew

For entry forms and information:

PO Box 71 Miranda 1490

T: 02 9520 7945 or 0407 229 151

E: pottersgroup@hotmail.com






Katie Jac obs

Raining in my Heart

"Raining in My Heart was created from porcelain

slabs. with thickened slip additions and platinum

lustre. I like the idea of the weather being used as 0

physical representative for emotions. which are quite

metaphysical and otherworldly."

Photograph by Andrew Barcham.

Northcote Pottery Supplies stocks a range of lustres

and onglazes for decorative finishes.

Quality Pottery Supplies and Services - Northcote Pottery Supplies Pty Ltd

142 - 144 Weston Street Brunswick East 3057 (PH) 0393873911


Specialist ceramics

training facilities

at Northern Beaches and Hornsby Colleges

Beginners and



are welcome

Come and train in some of

Australia's most outstanding

ceramics training facilities

featuring the latest

professional equipment and

spacious, natural light-filled

design studios.

Both colleges offer fast-track

specialist programs and a full

range of nationally accredited

qualifications which are

available part-time or fulltime,

day or evening.

The facilities include:

> Raku kilns

> natural gas and LPG kilns

> electric kilns

> wood fired kilns

> an extra large trolley kiln for sculptural work

Courses include:

> Nationally accredited qualifications

Certificate level III to JI/, Diploma and Advanced Diploma

> Fast-track programs

Open studio practice, Master Series

Hornsby College

205 Pacific Highway, Hornsby NSW 2077

Northern Beaches College

154 Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale NSW 2100

For more information about the ceramics training facilities

and services available, email nsi .ceramics@tafensw.edu.au

For general course and program enquiries:

Call 131 674 or go to www.nsi.tafensw.edu.au

Clay Extruder

-all stainless steel

so no rusting

-supplied with dies

-simple bayonet lock

die holder (no tools reqd.)

perfect for studio

or classroom.

- safe and easy to use

reet-drive wheel

- stainless steel bodyflegs

- optional tray tables

- very quiet and smooth

- high torque

I rev

- aux. hand speed control

- can be used as table-top

smooth and responsive

- no belts or drive wheels

Super-twin Pug mill

- ultimate versatility

- reclaim dryiwet scrap, extrude, de-air, blend

- all stainless steel for zero clay contamination

- clip on extruding nozzles

- tool-free barrel removal

- twin auger mixing chamber

- safe, easy feed, hopper


'''ii''''. system I

shown extruding a 12. 5cm wide tile

Mk2 Series Pug mills

- 3 sizes available

- standard and de-airing

- the world renown workhorse



for /11018 details or your

closest cftStributor;

ph (08) 9399 5265

fax (08) 9497 1335


--- ~

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AUD $10,000




9th Festival in Ceramics

University of Ballarat, Victoria

Firing Into the Future

18 , 19 & 20 September 20 I 0

Three days of workshops and

presentations featuring

Paul Aburrow

Julie Bartholomew

James Cattell

Maria Coyle

Janet De Boos

Merran Esson

Avital Sheffer



Further information:

Ceramics Victoria Inc.

phone: (03) 9899 2777

email: ceramicsvic@optusnet.com.au



Old Saint Luke's Studio

Gundaroo NSW

Showing wood·fired ceramics

by Moraig McKenna

and Ian Jones

Open Saturday, and Sundays

or by appointment

Kiln repairs, maintenance and

restoration by Ian Theyers,

a licensed industrial electrician

Sound technical advice

Friendly personal service

Wonderful range of clays­

Clayworks, Walkers and Keanes

Pottery equipment and tools

Short pottery courses

Regular specialist workshops

New exhibition space -

Potters Needs Ga llery

Delivery to your door

Potters Needs is operated by

Victoria and Ian Theyer,





COLOURS Rockwood Pigments, Cesco,

Walker Ceramics, Clay works, Deco,

Chrysanthos CLAYS Bendigo, Bennetts,

Blackwattle, Clayworks, Feeneys, Keanes,

Northcote, Walkers EQUIPMENT extruders,




wheels, slab rollers, pug mills, etc

ACCESSORIES Brushes, corks, batts, sieves,

kiln shelves, etc MATERIALS 25gm to ~ 5kg

and more GLAZES Powder an d iquid

TOOLS Clay tools, Kemper, Giffin Grip and




ph otograph~

all Images taken

are prepared for

web and print

Paul Symons

0432288 016

Explore traditional crafts, take part in short workshops

and see makers in their traditional villages.

Visit iconic sites in Mumbai, Udaipur and Delhi.

19 September - 2 October 2010

for information or brochures contact:

Sue Buckle, E: sue.buckle@bigpond.com

T: 02 9958 8622



The Australian Ceramics


Secure and Easy

is now available

@ www.australianceramics.com

The Journal of Au8InIIM Ceramics

The Aum8IIM Cer8mIce AIeocI.aIon

PublIc and ProcIuIIt LIIIIIIIty "-'-

BlICk __ • boob and .... 1oaI ......

.. "Mdt 0ptI0M

Cred"1t Card • ~ • Dir8ct DepoeIt


Books & T-Shirts

New on the Shelf

Low-6ring and






1. low-Firing and

Burnishing by

Sumi yon Dassow

This third book by

Sumi von Dassow,

describes the

history of burnished

ceramics, how to

burnish, low-firing

techniques and postfiring


AU 539.95

2. Contempora ry

Ceramics by

Emmanuel Cooper

A comprehensive worldwide

survey of the last ten

years of ceramic pradice

- a guide for ceramicists,

students and collectors.

AU S75

3. A Potters Pilg rimage

by Milton Moon

A first-hand account of

Milton Moon's life and

work. Moon's pilgrimage

has taken him from

beginnings at a small

pottery in Brisbane across

the world in search of

creative influence and

Innovative technique.

AU S39.95

4. Ivan Englund Australian

Potter by Allan Baptist

Written by Ivan's dose friend,

Allan Baptist. the book IS a

gentle tribute to Ivan. his life,

work and travels and shovvs

the great contribution he

made to the appreciation and

understanding of pottery in


AU S45

More books are available on: www.australianceramics.com

Make a Statement

5. T-Shirt

'occupation ceramic artist'

Sizes M, L, XL. XXL

Limited stock

Black only, 100% cotton

AU S35


ITEM 10 20 3 [l 4 0 5 D T-Shirt Size{s) ,-I __ ]

All prices include GST and postage

within Australia.

Name __________________________ __

Addrel\ ______________________________ _

_______________________________________ Postcode _______ Country ____________ _

Phone _______________________ Email ______________________________________ _

Cheque (AUS on~) 0 M/Card 0 Visa 0 Amex 0

Card Number 0000 DODO DODD 0000

Expty Oat' 0 0 0 0 Total 1 ______ __ The Australian CMarnics AssocIation

PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024

T: 1300 720124; E: mallOaustrahanceramlCS.com




~ m




Greg Daly

Glaze-on-glaze with

gold and sJl ... er leaf


photo artr.s.t

Service and Supplies


1800 692529 03 8761 6322


The new generation Walker Ceramics

David Walker

... the 4th generation Walker in Ceramics ...

Contact us for all your supplies.

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